Following a few false career starts (musician, PR executive, long-distance lorry driver), David Brennan settled on the then emerging field of media research in 1980. He joined Ulster TV as a Research Executive, moving to HTV and then Tyne Tees and (following the merger in 1991) Yorkshire-Tyne Tees as Research & Marketing Controller.
David joined the ITV Network Centre in 1993 as Controller of Audience Planning during the Centre’s most successful ever ratings period, where he pioneered the use of media research in the areas of programming, scheduling and programme promotions.
David joined Flextech Television as VP – Research in 1995, rising to SVP – Research & Channel Development. In this capacity he was a key part of the team that created the UKTV suite of channels as well as being involved in the launches or relaunches of the award-winning Living Health (NHS’ hugely successful interactive TV pilot) plus Trouble TV, Bravo, Living, Challenge and Discovery Home & Leisure.
David then moved to Australia in 2000, where he headed research for The Seven Network before setting up his own successful media consultancy business. He authored ‘The State of the Digital Nation’ which looked at the future of Australia’s digital media industry.
David returned to the UK at the beginning of 2006 and, after a spell as Head of Group Strategic Insight for Associated Newspapers, he joined Thinkbox – the trade marketing organisation for the commercial television industry – where he has worked for 5 years as Research & Strategy Director. In that role he managed a number of groundbreaking projects, including the Thinkbox TV Engagement Study, TV & Online: Better Together (with the IAB), Sponsorship – A Brand’s Best Friend (which won the IPA Simon Broadbent Award for best media research paper in 2008), Brainwaves – what neuroscience teaches us about the power of television and Tellyporting – a look into TV’s connected future.
David is a prolific writer on media matters, having written for Brand Republic, Media Week, Mediatel, Admap, Marketing, Marketing Week and The International Journal of Sponsorship. He has also presented at numerous international conferences, winning a number of awards along the way..
He is married and lives with his wife Julie and son Shea (named after one of the unsung heroes of the legendary 1960’s Manchester United team) in Brixton, South London.