Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Nigel Gilbert

The digital industry’s not really about technology, it’s about people. The digital economy is supported by technology but is conceived, created and developed by people, the heroes of digital.

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

The smooth, charming and dedicated Nigel Gilbert is an adtech veteran. Now heading up AppNexus in Europe, he’s been a key player over the last twenty years in the creation of the UK’s world-leading digital industry.

Who is your digital hero?

Cheating slightly, I’d pick my old friend and colleague Damon Reeve who I worked with at Excite in the late 1990s. Since then he not only co-founded Unanimis but now, as CEO of The Ozone Project, he’s achieved what no one else has been able to in building a quorum of UK publishers.

How has their heroism helped drive digital?

With The Ozone Project, Damon has succeeded doing what no one else has been able to, delivering a badly-need marketplace of premium publisher content.

Of course, we don’t know yet how it will play out but I really hope that it will be as successful as it deserves to be and with Damon leading it we have every reason to hope.

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

Short-termism. The biggest problem we face today is that most UK publishers and buyers, agencies and brand marketers, are driven by the need to deliver immediate results rather than by long term sustainability.

This leads to price erosion, lower quality content and a poor user experience.

(I’m doing my best to help solve this one.)

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

Being a founding partner of Unanimis, which evolved into the UK’s largest independent sales house.

I’m incredibly proud that it proved to be a breeding ground for some of the finest talent that the digital industry now benefits from.