Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Tina Lakhani, IAB Head of Adtech

Tina Lakhani is Head of Adtech at the IAB. Appointed to the newly-created role in April this year, she is responsible for overseeing the Gold Standard’s certifications and development, working with the IAB Tech Lab to help collaboration within the adtech community.

Who is your digital hero?

This is such a tough question because working at the IAB means that I have the great fortune of working with some of the greatest minds our industry has to offer. But, if I have to choose, my digital hero is Chloe Grutchfield, Co-Founder of RedBud.

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

As one of the Co-Founders of RedBud, the technology Chloe has built is, in my eyes, one of the most fantastic pieces of tech that I’ve seen – helping to improve transparency within the digital supply chain.

Not only is her robust understanding of the industry incredible, but my experience of working with Chloe during lockdown has set her apart as my digital hero. Like many other parents, she spent lockdown balancing her daily work with being a parent, and quite frankly I have never seen someone multi-task so well!

Chloe is one of the most kickass talents I’ve come across in our industry, and to me is a prime example of a woman – and a working mum – who is achieving great things in the world of adtech, which tends to be quite a male-dominated industry.

How has her heroism helped drive digital?

For me, Chloe is an inspiration and trailblazer for women in our industry. The technology that she and her Co-Founder Rhys Denny have created helps digital advertisers respect consumer privacy and choice. Getting this right will help us to build sustainable future for the open, ad funded internet.

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

In my personal opinion, a lot of the challenges we face within the digital ad industry come down to measurement and unrealistic measurement KPIs. To get the most out of digital we need to make sure the right measurement metrics are in place.

At the IAB, we continue to work to address and solve this issue, however my future vote for a digital hero will go to the person that comes along to champion this issue for the industry!

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

I’m personally most proud of all the work I – and my colleagues at the IAB – have done around coronavirus keyword blocking, and the content verification guide we launched earlier this year.

One of the many things I have learnt during this pandemic is just how valuable free access to accurate news and information really is. We have this democracy of information because of digital advertising – indeed it’s how many publishers fund their journalism – making our industry pivotal to society.

When coronavirus hit, COVID related words and phrases were swiftly added to many advertisers’ keyword blocklist, meaning that publishers couldn’t monetise this hugely important content.

In response, IAB UK worked with Government and stakeholders from across the industry – publishers, content verification tool providers and advertisers – to produce cross-industry guidance for agencies and brands.

The problem still prevails, but the work that we have done has gone some way to changing buying behaviours and keeping the issue on the agenda. IAB UK continues to work in this area and I feel really proud of my contributions to it, especially during this time of national crisis.