Calling interesting media tech companies in the UK! Apply to be seen by Omnicom’s Innovation Group


One of the things I’ve been working on with my colleagues for quite a few months at PHD, and Omnicom at a larger level, is a process to get interesting new media technology companies seen by senior stakeholders in the business. As anyone who has interacted with a big business will know all too well, there can be multiple entry points and a lot of wasted effort in just trying to get seen by the right people, forget the next step which is getting some business. The second step can’t happen without the first, so I’m glad to finally be able to say that the forum to make that happen now exists at Omnicom Media Group in the UK.

If you are a technology business that is involved in new ways of bringing content or creative to life, if you can add something useful to insight and analytics teams, or if you have a compelling e-commerce offering, then get in touch. We’d also like to hear from you if you don’t fit into any of the above categories and have something truly innovative in the media space to offer big and small businesses that help them improve their efficiency or bottom line.

Can’t promise all applicants will be seen but I can promise that your application will receive proper consideration by people who work with clients day in and day out. If the proposition is compelling enough then you’ll get face time with us to tell us why, and we’ll do all we can to help.

I want to make clear that one thing we are not looking for is businesses involved in re-targeting or programmatic buying as this is not the right forum for that.

But if you think you have something interesting for us, we’d love to hear from you.

Wrote a piece for @GdnMediaNetwork: adding value in unlikely ways

Some of you know that I recently started a newsletter chronicling interesting projects and technology companies from parts of the world that are not the UK/US/EU regions. Maybe you’ve even subscribed.

That was an outcome, in part, of a piece I wrote for the Guardian Media Network a few weeks ago that has just been published. Here’s how it starts:

We’ve heard the statistics, we know the facts: on digital platforms banner blindness is on the rise, ad viewability is becoming an issue, and on TV, according to a recent report by TNS Infratest, simultaneous second screen usage results in the impact of advertising being adversely affected by nearly 60%. No doubt there are similar numbers, for those so inclined, that track the impact of other forms of media.

We live in a media-saturated world. Declarations about the number of advertising messages people are subjected to every day range from 500 to 5,000. I came across this interesting quote by J Walker Smith, executive chairman of the Futures Company, from an old article investigating the myth of 5,000 advertising messages per day: “If we really want to do good marketing, then we have to get out of the clutter business and stay solidly in the communication business. It’s tempting to try and address our challenges by adding more weight to our media buys, but this only raises the cost of doing advertising, and it never goes down in this arms race.”

You can read the rest here.

From today, One Size Fits One is @getcentup-integrated!

Last year when I heard about the launch of CentUp, I raced to get the button added to this site. There were many reasons – primarily that I think good writing and good ideas should be supported in some way beyond advertising. I’ve been a contributor to CentUp-supported blogs over the past year so I’ve had the satisfaction of recommending work I like beyond just tweeting about it.

Till now, you haven’t seen CentUp itself on this site because didn’t support it. That’s all changed as of today – hurrah! If any of you like the things I write about going forward, you have the opportunity to donate to charity and support me simultaneously if you have a CentUp account, by simply clicking on the button you should see at the bottom of a post.

By way of background, CentUp was created to do good and pay content creators for their efforts at the same time. It smashed its 2013 Indiegogo goal, and launched soon after.  It’s a great way to discover content appreciated by others in the ecosystem as well (read their Creators + Tech series and subscribe to their email if you’re interested).

I had a quick chat with Len Kendall, one of the founders, earlier today. Here’s what he says about their journey over the past year:

Over the course of the last year, the CentUp has refined who our core customer is. Instead of trying to help content creators across all platforms, we’re hyper-focusing our attention on writers. Unlike Youtubers or Musicians who can more easily sell goods or run ads, writers specifically have a really hard time monetizing their work. People (all of us) simply aren’t used to paying for writing anymore.  As such, we decided that writers were the people CentUp should work hardest to support. We’ve evolved our platform in the last 6 months and tie every single donation not to a person, but to a specific piece of content. So unlike a PayPal donate button that’s used to contribute money to a person or team, CentUp lets readers financially support (or tip) the one piece of writing that truly inspired them. By tying donations to individual articles (versus overall publishers), we’re also aligning with how modern day readers use the web: they jump from site to site, and don’t commit to any one publisher.

Glad to see the CentUp team going from strength to strength! from CentUp on Vimeo.

Wishing my friends @phillumphile & @kohlipooja all the best with @leechesfilm – do help make it a reality

Many years ago, I worked at a film festival in New York. That’s where I met Payal Sethi, fresh from her time working with Mira Nair and who then went on to be a key part of the Tribeca Film Festival, and Pooja Kohli, who previously helmed the IFP Market. They both went on to launch a company to market independent South Asian cinema called Film Karavan. Grant St. Shaving Co., shot in New York, was their first short film, released in 2010. It went on to win a few international awards, including Best Film Over 5 Minutes at The Smalls in London – and I was lucky enough to be the one picking up the award for Payal as she couldn’t be here at the time.

Yesterday, Payal and Pooja launched a crowdfunding campaign for their new film, Leeches. Here’s a bit from Payal on the film:

“Leeches is the story of 16-year old Raisa in Hyderabad who searches for a forgotten old wives remedy that will make her a virgin again, so she can take the place of her younger sister in a contract marriage to an old Sheikh. It is based on my visits to Shaheen, an NGO in the slums of Hyderabad’s old city, who work to empower women who are victims of the archaic practice of contract marriage.”

I’ve contributed of course. There’s a twist in the tale that Payal promises will make everyone sit up, so it promises to be not only informative but crucially for any good film, interesting. You can read more about the film on the site, follow the project on Facebook and Twitter, and if you’d like to be a part of it, then you know what to do, it will be much appreciated! The crowdfunding site Wishberry, like Kickstarter, operates on an all-or-nothing basis, so fingers crossed they hit their funding goal.

If you’d like weekly links to companies outside of the West doing interesting stuff, sign up to my new weekly newsletter

I often get asked what the main information sources I read are. While most of them are pretty standard for anyone working in media and technology in this part of the world, lately I’ve been feeling a gap in my own knowledge when it comes to information from other parts of the world in these areas, especially given my personal interests in that region.

Over the last year or so, a number of interesting sources of information have launched online: The Next Web’s Jon Russell has an Asia-focussed newsletter, Bill Bishop’s Sinocism newsletter paints a valuable multi-hued picture of China, Quartz now has an India edition (and their Daily Brief email focussing on the region), and Your Story publishes news stories from across Asia and South-East Asia, to name a few. Of course there are also the more mainstream outlets like the Economist, Time, Harvard Business Review and so on. But what I was looking for was something beyond just the big news stories of the startup and communications industry outside of the West – it was information on the lesser-known companies and projects, albeit rooted in tech, that are disrupting markets across the world (and outside of just India/Asia). And also, information on companies in those parts of the world not founded by men (refer to Ada’s List).

So a while ago I started creating a list of these companies. And then I figured that writing a weekly newsletter would not only help me keep track of the most interesting non-US/UK/EU projects across the world in a more memorable way, it might also be useful for some other people (five of you, maybe ten, I don’t know).

So if you’d like, pop in your email address and see if what I find is interesting to you. It won’t be more regular than weekly (I only wish I had the publishing proclivity of the brilliant Dan Hon or the detailed perspectives of Frederic Filloux and Jean-Louis Gassée, but you have to go with what you have eh) so you won’t have to worry about me spamming your inbox.

I figure short and sweet is a good way to start – so each Wednesday expect a list of no more than a handful of companies that are interesting to me, based in or focussed on areas outside of Silicon Valley and Silicon Roundabout – you know, those Other Valleys.

PS: If you’d like to submit an entry for inclusion in the email at any point, I’m happy to take submissions which you can send through via this short form.

Technology. Media. Stuff.


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