In an attempt to showcase the personalities of the people behind the media and marketing sector, The Drum speaks to individuals who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what insights and life experience they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions are put to the most anonymous of industry commentators - MediaLad
What was your first job?
Why did you get into advertising?
I’ve always had a business or economic brain and marketing was the most attractive area for me given the psychology and quantitative aspects of it.
What’s the worst buzzword in the industry?
Transparency, leverage, gap - take your pick.
Leverage - makes it sound like you’re using someone or something to get around a problem not solve it.
Gap - basically means someone isn’t doing their job.
Transparency - no one knows what transparency actually is until they try to do it and fail miserably at it.
If you could improve Twitter - how would you go about it?
Tweetups with people near you or a gaming element to it a la HQ.
Which industry event do you have to attend every year?
The IAA Xmas ball - The biggest celebration of media in the calendar year.
What’s the most surprising thing you have learned about the ad industry since working within it?
The most surprising thing is how little the so-called knowledgeable industry experts get to grips with both sides of the buy or sell side. The fact that they don’t know that not all third-party data can be bought on premium publications (even before GDPR). The fact that some technology does not interact with others in the most fluid way, yet expect a “transparency” that just will not be there unless there is a drastic change. The fact no one even talks about that astounds me. The fact they’re so focused on the buzzwords and chasing followers or awards, and not actually fixing the problems pisses me off.
Who is the one person in advertising whose advice everyone should listen to - other than yourself?
The guys at Avocet for digital buying, namely Ezra Pierce and Simon Critchley.
Who or what did you have posters of on your wall while growing up?
Eric Cantona, and House Record Labels.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
There’s a couple. From a life perspective, it’s about how much is in your control. 70% of your life is outside of your control. Stuff that happens to others in your life like your partner, parents, and loved ones. The stuff they do to annoy or delight you. 20% is what you’re in control of including life choices and what you do for fun, work, spare time etc. The rest is just pure luck and chance. For that reason only take time on the 20% as you really don’t have a lot of say on the rest.
What do you think ‘Media Lad’ means to the industry and what has being him meant to yourself?
I mean it started as a joke for the company I used to work for. I handed my notice in and had a bit of time, Twitter was new to me and I used it as a bit of a platform to promote jokes in my career that turned out to be common problems faced by everyone. It’s turned into this mad Banksy type character that (most) people enjoy, and want to unmask. I am honestly so humbled by that. Others hate it, for calling out their shit, but you know what... it’s not about who I am but it’s about what should be the “right” way to do media or your job. Bring perspective and enthusiasm to a job that really doesn’t save any lives or do anything meaningful in the world apart from raise awareness for certain companies/products. I try not to raise my own profile as (believe it or not) I’m not that type of guy that wants a headache to appear on stage. I’m busy working for my clients and that’s what motivates me.
More entries from 10 Questions With... can be found here.