Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Fredrik Borestrom, President of the International Advertising Association UK

Fredrik Borestrom is Head of Agency, International at LinkedIn and President of the International Advertising Association, UK Chapter.  Borestrom’s career spans almost 20 years, including senior roles at companies such as Euronews, Eurosport, Odyssey Mobile Marketing and Phunware Inc.

Who is your digital hero?

Robbie Douek, CEO at BLAST.

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

Robbie and I worked together 10 years ago and since then he’s always had a great ability to spot emerging trends and be ahead of the game. He made an early move to mobile before Google acquired AdMob and mobile became the ‘next big thing’.

From Google he joined Maker Studios before anyone really knew who YouTubers were or influencer marketing become so prevalent. He’s now embarked on a very exciting E-Sports journey with BLAST, so if I ever need to find out where the industry is going and where future platforms will be created, I speak to Robbie and see what his plans are!

How has his heroism helped drive digital?

Robbie’s been at the forefront of creating new marketplaces, which at the time either didn’t exist at all or were niche then became mainstream and a huge place for brands, agencies, publishers, creators, and consumers to meet and exchange value.

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

We have to solve the issue of ad fraud across the entire digital eco-system and rebuild trust in advertising, not just from consumers but also with all the different cohorts (brands, agencies, publishers and platforms).

Digital has also suffered from the perception it’s just a performance channel and that has driven too much short-term thinking. As Les Binet and Peter Field often talk about, we need to have a healthy mix of brand and demand messaging, and digital is an amazing channel to build strong brands. We should focus less on vanity metrics and look at how we build and drive real business value for all parties involved.

Finally, we have to – as an industry – really focus on becoming more inclusive and diverse. When you look around, we are not reflective of the society that we are supposed to serve and represent.

We must do better and allow all forms of diversity and diverse individuals to thrive and create more opportunities for under-represented groups.

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

It’s the journey my business partner, and friend, Chris Gale and I embarked on when we took Odyssey Mobile from a fledgling business with three people in a rented office in The Hospital Club, to exiting via an acquisition in December 2014.

There are many memories that stand out during those exciting years but the one moment I often think back to is when we opened our office in Singapore. The team and I went of a tour to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore, hosting launch events in each market with around 100 clients and agency partners attending each session. I

 was filled with immense pride each time I addressed the crowd. That week and the feeling I had is something I still cherish.

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