The best (and worst) of 2019
This week we hosted the Year Ahead, our annual get together of industry bosses that hears predictions and promises for the future. But before they bust out the crystal ball, panellists reflect on their top media moments, businesses and personalities of the year gone by... alongside their media disasters. Here is a snapshot of what they said.
Media Personality of the Year
Karen Stacey: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
"With Fleabag and Killing Eve, she brought to our screens entertainment we haven't seen probably since Gavin & Stacey."
Dominic Mills: Dominic Cummings
"The puppet master, the master of digital media, accidental fashion icon, as of last week probably the HR director from hell, and a cross between Lord Mandelson and Machiavelli... He has run two astonishingly successful campaigns in Brexit and the general election, [and is] at the moment the towering figure of our times."
Caroline Foster Kenny: Greta Thunberg
"What a phenomenal and extraordinary impact she has had in such a short time. I've never seen anything like it before... She's also a role model for diversity - not just for age and gender, but for autism as well."
Jan Gooding: David Attenborough
"What an astonishing life he has lived. Having shown us how we should love and appreciate our planet, he's now trying to encourage us to save it. One hope I have for the next decade is that by the time he reaches his 100th birthday in 2026, he will know his life was well spent and that we've fucking turned it around."
Media Company of the Year
Karen Stacey: Twitter UK
"They are taking responsibility for being a media owner as a social media company more seriously than I've seen others do. I think their position of not taking political advertising [and] their position in the UK of paying their corporation tax is all a move in the right direction. Sometimes it's a tough place when you're working for an overseas company, and I applaud the team in the UK for trying to make a stand."
Dominic Mills: The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
OK, so it's not media, or even a company, but the ICO's approach to the GDPR era has been "steady" and "thoughtful" - the fruit of which was seen last year when it announced its investigation into real time bidding. "I think they've got their teeth into something, I don't think they're going to let go, and I think this year will be the year the ICO makes its mark on the data world."
Caroline Foster Kenny: Global
With the recent success of LBC demonstrating the investment the business puts into its radio brands, as well as its "very smart and very bold" move into the out of home sector, Global impressed Foster Kenny the most in 2019. Plus, "they've been really innovative with some of their new products - especially on the podcast side, the digital side, and with technology generally."
Jan Gooding: The Guardian
When The Guardian announced that its strategy to break-even included asking readers to donate money rather than putting up a paywall, people thought it was "almost risible" - but it worked. "I think its been absolutely fantastic. As PAMCo chair, I think it says something about the commitment of their readers, and as an advertiser that has to be quite interesting."
Don't miss our next event: The Future of Brands Wednesday 5 February 2020