The Two of Us


Dream team by merger – two people, two jobs, one mission.

When companies merge, colleagues from different organisations but with similar goals are suddenly working together, comparing their processes, tools, and priorities to reach the best outcome  

With “The Two of US”, we interview “new” colleagues – colleagues from formerly different entities, now working together in their respective fields.   

This month, meet Frida Johannes (London location, Director Digital AdOperations, formerly RTL AdConnect) and colleague Sebastian Neumann (Hamburg location, Director of Advanced Solutions, formerly smartclip).

Both have been responsible for successfully delivering ad campaigns across the digital portfolio. Recently, they collaborated during the programmatic launch of ATV with The Trade Desk 

Sebastian Neumann

Frida Johannes

1. How do you explain your job to your family? 

Frida: My department is responsible for showing ads to people that have a certain interest, or a certain demographic. And I would probably share the example of IKEA, a company close to my heart, trying to show their ads across different European markets. 😉

Sebastian: I always say I do Ad-technology for RTL, which goes well and after I’ve received the typical slow nodding of approval, we continue with other topics.

2. When did you start working for your entity and what attracted you to the position in the first place? 

Frida: In April 2020. I remember having a great talk with Daniel Bischoff, signing my new contract in February 2020, preparing to move from Stockholm to London – and then Covid happened, and the UK was in lockdown. I applied because I really liked the international approach. I started working from Stockholm remotely for a few months, but as soon as the UK opened again (summer of 2020), I moved to London.

Sebastian: I started my smartclip career about 13 years ago as a campaign manager / AdOps. It’s a great entry into the world of ad technology, in close contact with all relevant stakeholders. You need to develop a deeper understanding of tech as you have to communicate complex technical situations and solutions to regulars. With this knowledge, you can advance to positions in data, product, sales, AdTech, or platform-related fields.  

3. Have the two of you met in person yet? What was your first impression

Frida: Yes, we have, a few times already! The first time we spoke, was on a video call regarding the VMP Direct project/Tech Alliance – and then we met again in Madrid. I immediately liked his humour!  

Sebastian: I’ve had quite a lot of communication with Frida via Mail and in calls before we met in person. So I wasn’t that surprised to find out, she is fun and charismatic in person as well.

4. Tell us a bit more. What are you / have you been working on together? What has worked well, what is challenging? 

Frida: We truly kicked it off with the AdOps work streams – discussing the strategy for RTL AdAlliance from an operational POV, understanding the synergies between the three companies, and how we’d elevate the performance and work. Basti is knowledgeable and straight to the point, we have good and constructive discussions. He is also fun to work with, which is a big plus.

Sebastian: Due to the great adaptive skills of everyone involved (various iMS, RAC and smartclip colleagues), we quickly identified the major differences in terms of how RAC, GJ and smartclip operate regarding client requests, campaign delivery, and troubleshooting. Changing the set-up from an agent model to a reseller model isn’t something you can expect to implement in a split second – it requires a change in mindset and affects the whole value chain.

5. If you had one work-related wish granted, what would it be? 

Frida+Sebastian: We think it is essential to maintain the current exceptional international spirit across all the diverse entities involved, fostering a sense of unity and collaboration.

Moreover, it is crucial to further develop an inclusive culture that promotes synergy and cohesiveness as we bring together the three companies. By nurturing this environment, we can harness the collective strengths and talents of individuals from various backgrounds, propelling us towards shared success and growth on a global scale.


6. Your favourite RTL brand?  

Frida: Similar to what Marzia said in her interview, I enjoy the premium content of the VOD platforms!

Sebastian: ntv. Documentations about defense technology? Count me in. One hour about the A10 Warthog – which is basically a plane designed around a gun – hold my drink and don’t get me started.

7. And what are you recommending to watch or listen to at the moment? 

Frida: Currently, Fred Again… and Hermanos Gutierrez (both artists in different genres). And if I listen to a podcast, it’s “The Rest Is Politics” by two ex-MPs here in the UK, which helps me to learn about my new home country.

Sebastian: To support our print colleagues, I want to recommend the book “The Forever War” by Joe Haldeman which I’ve just finished. It was written in 1974 and describes a potential sci-fi war scenario in which humans are faced with the effects of time dilation due to overlight-speed travels, to get into the combat zone. If you’re interested in astrophysics, it’s a good one. 


8. As we all work internationally – what’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited, and why was it so memorable?

Frida: The most memorable visit, and something I will never forget, was when I was in Krakow in 2011 and visited Auschwitz for a day. Horrible but so important at the same time.

Sebastian: I’ve visited Kyiv and Chernobyl in 2015.


9. When offline and outside of your home, where would we most likely find you? Doing what?

Frida: Listening to live music – everything from Jazz bars, to worldwide known bands, to a basement gig somewhere in London. Which is why I love living in London – so many venues and bands to discover!

Sebastian: I find myself devoting a considerable amount of time to playing golf, although I must clarify that my skill level does not reflect my dedication. I discovered this hobby last year, it’s quite addictive and a great compensation for suffering when my HSV football club (who are struggling) is off-season. 

Thank you so much Frida and Sebastian for sharing, have a lovely summer!

👋Which duo should we interview next? Happy to hear from you via