Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Media Hero: Alasdair Weddell, Director of Media, UKTV

Alasdair Weddell is Director of Media at UKTV. In over a decade in media, he has worked at companies including Sky and the BBC. He played a key role in the development of the technology enabling one of the industry’s most important developments, addressable TV.

Who is your media hero?

Les Binet and Peter Field.

I came from the same background as them and find their approach to using data really exciting. Using data from previous campaigns rather than having to set up tests as you’re launching a campaign, which can be a pretty tall order when you’re trying to get a campaign live! Their approach is just far more effective.

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

The Long and the Short of It and other papers from the two researchers are the definitive source material for how a lot of marketers view strategy, in particular the importance of balancing short and long term objectives and strategies.

How have they helped drive media?

With the growth of digital media, the industry has become increasingly focused on short results and strategies. Their work is a call to arms to influence the C-suite to make sure long-term objectives are considered.

When you’re working to constantly hit quarterly budgets, it’s easy to forget the importance of the long-term impact of anything you do and their work is a reminder to keep long-term objectives front of mind.

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

Cross-media measurement.

We need better information on how different platforms integrate. We need robust cross-media measurement in place. There is a lot of work going on across the industry to try and solve this but at the moment it’s all a bit half baked.

Once we have this in place, it will go a long way to addressing all the issues around trust and verification and so on that cloud the industry.

What is your most heroic achievement in media so far?

Six years ago when I was at Sky I worked on the internal rollout of the technology that became AdSmart.

Addressable TV wasn’t even a term then and it was just a beta product, so I just used traditional media planning principles to help develop it.