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10 Questions Marketing

10 questions with... Stephen Waddington, managing director, Metia


By Stephen Lepitak, -

September 6, 2019 | 4 min read

Each week, The Drum talks to a range of media and marketing professionals about their roles, but rarely do they get a chance to show who they are and what drives them as people. The Drum's 10 Questions series attempts to offer a little more insight into those personalities. This week's questions are put to Stephen Waddington, managing director, Metia.

Stephen Waddington

10 questions with... Stephen Waddington, managing director, Metia

What was your first-ever job?

A Saturday job in my Dad’s butchers in Preston, Lancashire. Everyone should do a stint in retail and serve time working directly with the public.

Which industry buzzword annoys you most?

Fake news. It ain’t fake and it ain’t news. It’s a deliberate attempt to pollute public discourse with disinformation and bullshit. Stop it.

Who do you find most interesting to follow on social media?

Tortoise is a genuine attempt to rethink news media. It creates physical events called ThinkIns to engage readers in its newsroom. It’s a slow and open form of journalism based on listening to its readers and the communities that it reports on.

What has been the highlight of your career (so far?)

Working with Steve Earl in my first tech agency in the late 90s as the internet was being built out. We had the opportunity to work with so many incredible people and organisations. I’ve spent the past 20 years trading off everything I learned.

What piece of tech can you not live without?

My iWatch is my bitch. We have a love-hate relationship based mostly on hate. Calories are the currency of our friction.

Who or what did you have posters of on your bedroom wall as a teenager?

Knight Rider. I’ve always been a big fan of David Hasselhoff and his work. Go on, bite me.

In advertising, what needs to change soon?

The regulation of social media platforms so that we have transparency over who is targeting us, what content they are using, and how much they are spending. Until that is fixed political discourse will have the potential to be corrupted.

What is (in your opinion) the greatest film/album/book of your life?

The Cluetrain Manifesto published in 1999. It foretold almost everything we know about the modern internet. My wife bought me a copy of the first edition and couriered it around the US to get it signed by all four authors. She’s a keeper.

Which industry event can you not afford to miss each year and why?

The Drum PR Awards look set to become a fixture in the calendar. Vuelio always puts on a good party at its influencer awards.

What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Whenever faced with the choice either to be a dick or not to be a dick, choose not to be a dick. It generally makes for a more pleasant experience and easier life. I apply it every single day of my life.

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