We’re asking some of our industry’s leading figures to nominate their digital hero and to explain what’s so special about them.
Paul Frampton is CEO for EMEA for travel tech scale up hi Inc and Chair of Big Youth Group. Previously CEO of Havas Media, where he spent seven years, Paul has long been a vocal force for good in the digital industry. He describes himself a proud feminist, and was included in Management Today’s 30 Male Agents of Change Power list in March 2018.
Who is your digital hero?
WPP UK country manager Karen Blackett. She epitomises leadership by focussing on how she can make a difference. She’s been involved in so many important initiatives around subjects such as apprenticeships, gender, race equality and mental health among others. We need more people like Karen as strong role models for young women.
How has their heroism helped drive digital?
She is involved in so many forum and bodies to drive the industry to do better. But the best thing about her is that she brings a brilliant simplicity and humanity to the issues behind technology. In a complex world, she keeps things people-focussed and is able to translate the complexities of digital for big brands.
What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?
That we still call it digital!
It’s almost impossible to distinguish digital from linear today. Just look at The Guardian brand as a perfect example of this. All brands need to be integrated to match the world we live in today.
Brands need to focus on media and communications in a digital world, not digital in a ‘real’ world.
We need a re-examination of how technology and data is used on a social and political level, to move the focus to be driven by humanity and purpose.
Overall, we need to take responsibility to build a better, more sustainable model.
What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?
Taking the bold decision to pull advertising from YouTube when the brand safety crisis happened.
It was the most terrifying 24 hours of my professional life but I felt I had made the right decision. I was lambasted internally at the time but afterwards, Havas used it as an example of leaderhip.