With the NDA Heroes Awards fast approaching, New Digital Age is running a series of interviews with the highly-respected names on the judging panel. Next, we hear from Jon Mew, Chief Executive Officer, IAB UK.
Why did you agree to be a judge?
I agreed to be a judge because I love the premise of these awards – taking into account not just the work that people are producing but the difference that they make to their clients, their colleagues and the wider industry. I hope that this process will see us unearth extraordinary people that perhaps don’t always get recognised for the contribution that they make.
How important is it to highlight the individuals doing great work, rather than just the businesses?
It’s hugely important. Businesses can only become great if they have great people working for them. That means people that can spark ideas and create genuinely inspiring work, but that also know how to collaborate, to draw on each other’s strengths and to pull together. It means believing in the company’s goals wholeheartedly, but also having the courage to challenge ‘how we work’.
What makes a hero in this industry?
I don’t think there is one blueprint for being a hero. From innovative campaign ideas to trailblazers for inclusion, there are so many people that are doing brilliant things in our industry and we have to be able to recognise that across the board. What they perhaps all have in common is a drive to go above and beyond to make a difference to their role and the people around them. They rethink the accepted ways of doing things, shake up the status quo and move us all forward.
What are you looking for from the entries?
When you’re judging awards, you’re always on the lookout for that spark of human connection or the sort of ideas that make you think ‘why haven’t we done that?!’ There’s almost nothing better than being unable to decide because the entries are so strong. With these awards, more than any, I hope to be inspired, excited and just a little bit jealous.
Who has been your career hero? And why?
The person I look up to most is Richard Eyre, the IAB’s Chairman (I know which way my bread is buttered). But seriously, he’s someone that handles any situation with a level head, is generous with his time, has incredible experience to lean on and is an all-round great person to learn from.
Who has been your personal hero? And why?
I’d say my wife Kim as she has the hardest job of anyone I know – working, doing what is probably a disproportionate share of looking after the family and, most tricky of all, having to live with me!