Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Fern Potter, Neo@Ogilvy

We’re asking some of our industry’s leading figures to nominate their digital hero and to explain what’s so special about them.

Fern Potter, Managing Partner at Neo@Ogilvy, has bucked the trend in NDA’s My Digital Hero series and chosen not one individual but the collective heroes that power our industry, speaking bravely about how this network of support helps her tackle her own issues around anxiety.

Fern was selected at one of the most creative and innovative women in the search industry in Google’s Women in Search while head of search and biddable EMEA, at MediaCom.

Who is your digital hero?

After much thought, consideration, and consultation I came to the conclusion that I have no singular digital hero. 

To be honest at first, I felt a bit sad about this, as if I was missing out. 

Then (in conversation with Stephanie Bell, who I admire tremendously!)  I came to realise, I actually have many, as no person operates alone. 

Throughout our personal and professional development, we meet and have the pleasure of working with many heroes.

What have they done to win hero status in your eyes?

They show up, they are present, they drive change beyond digital and make working in our industry inclusive and exciting. 

These people get the job done, they prove digital delivers business results as well as creating exciting and emotive brand experiences for audiences where they want it.

Ultimately leading to digital transformation within brands, agencies and in people. 

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

More accountability. I am huge advocate of media quality for the interests of people.

I am of the opinion that platforms which monetise user generated content such as Facebook and YouTube need to have in place deep controls and be better at protecting people from harmful content.

They need to deliver suitable environments for brands to advertise and stop leaking people’s information/data.

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

Personally, some days I feel like a hero as I get up and out. I suffer from anxiety that at times can be crippling, other days it makes me stronger.   

I am hugely grateful that in our industry specifically, the dial is shifting and there is more openness on mental health and self-care.  I would like to do more and contribute to breaking down the stigma around these issues.

Professionally, I created a trusted publisher network across multiple global clients that focussed on direct publisher partnerships, media quality, people not pixels, and brand principles.

It’s a project I truly believe in and have subsequently adopted and expanded into all channels across a varied client base.