Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Amelia Torode, co-founder, The Fawnbrake Collective

Amelia Torode co-founded The Fawnbrake Collective in 2017 after a 20-year career in digital and advertising, working for agencies including Ogilvy Interactive, MindShare, VCCP, Naked Communications and TBWA. She was recognised as the 8th most influential marketer on Twitter and has won a host of industry awards.

Who is your digital hero?

Russell Davies without a doubt. A planner who thinks about what happens when organisations and services meet the internet and inspires others to do the same. Without Russell’s influence I would not be where I am today. 

What has he done to win hero status in your eyes?

Back in 2006 Russell was the person who really inspired me to jump more deeply into digital. His blog became a centre of gravity for thinking and discussion.

It was because of him that I started writing, blogging and tweeting. His meet ups on a Friday at The Breakfast Club were a lo-fi way of connecting interesting minds and beginning intelligent debate IRL. 

 How has his heroism helped drive digital?

Russell has always been incredibly generous with his thinking by sharing it all. He is always focused tricky problems whether that is in agencies, client side or  as part of the government in the Government Digital Service

What the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

We need to really concentrate on how work works in the 21st century.

With people actively choosing to lean out of large corporate structures, we need to ensure that digital platforms, products and services truly fit the needs of people wherever they are working from and whatever their background. 

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

I am really proud of the team that I was part of at VCCP. The thinking, vision and foresight that was applied  was extraordinary. We restructured, upskilled everyone around digital, rewrote the planning process and got rid of “VCCP Digital.”

What we did back in 2007 and 2008 was more forward thinking than many big agencies over a decade later. I think about people like Steve Vranakis, Buster Dover, Claudine Allen and Charles, Rooney, Ian, Adrian and Michael and how we ran together into what we knew the agency needed to be.