Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Jacqueline Kavanagh, MD, The Lovie Awards

Jacqueline Kavanagh, MD, The Lovie Awards. She has previously held roles at The Wbby Awards Group, Refinery29, Condé Nast, i-D Magazine, VICE and Boiler Room. She is also the founder of Par, an independent representation desk & commercial consultancy for creative businesses. 

Who is your digital hero? 

Impossible question, but two people come to mind this week. Colleen DeCourcy, Chief Creative Officer at Snap Inc and Kenya Hunt, Editor-in-Chief at Elle UK.

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

I’m going to have to give you two separate responses on this one.

I had the privilege of attending a fireside chat between Colleen and Alex Mahon (CEO of Channel4) at Snapchat HQ in London last week. Colleen’s frankness and head-on tackling on social media’s dark sides, especially with regards to safeguarding children and teens, felt enormously refreshing. She answered tough questions with transparency and shared her personal motivations for doing this role, at this time, at Snapchat. I think she is taking the brand in a great direction.

Kenya Hunt’s editorial leadership has completely revolutionised Elle UK and given the brand such an incredible injection of relevance in the marketplace. I’m thinking of things like the launch of Elle Collective, the appointment of a cohort of awesome contributing editors (like Emma Dabiri; art historian, curator and writer) and of course, Elle’s truly unbeatable cover talent curation. 

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

I’d like to continue to see the momentum and increasingly more vocal push back we’re seeing against irresponsible and addictive technologies.

Companies like Snapchat addressing concerns (and as Colleen deCourcy said this week) actively ‘designing for outcomes’ can be really pivotal to the conversation. I like the moves happening towards digital minimalism with companies like BRICK or The Light Phone.

In addition to actual products like these, from the beginning of this year, I’ve noticed more content and journalism addressing this topic – like this recent episode of the New York Times’ Ezra Klein’s brilliant podcast. 

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

I am incredibly proud of the all-new Lovie Awards that we relaunched last year with new judges, new media partners, a new brand, new website and a new winner’s gallery, showcasing thirteen years of European internet excellence.

Our beautiful new brand and strong focus on adding categories for pertinent topics like Responsible Technology, Accessible Technology, Best Use of AI & Machine Learning (and so many more) really ignited. It has been a huge undertaking that led to our biggest season yet – with 1200 entries from over 30 countries, and work submitted in 7 languages. We’re gearing up Season 14 – and you can watch this space for all our news!