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Interview

My life in advertising: Ross Webster

10 August 2015
My life in advertising: Ross Webster

What are clients looking for in their advertising and media solutions in 2015?

In 2015, clients are notably looking for ground-breaking solutions which give them a differentiated advantage to competitors. They want measurable media solutions, which stand out and are delivered impeccably at exactly the right time.

What have been the most notable changes in the advertising industry since your career began?

The increased speed of opportunity. In the past, keeping up with the pace of opportunities was much easier but with the growth of mobile, the Internet of Things and of course data, there are countless opportunities every second of every day for advertisers to take advantage of.

What has been the biggest challenge of your career?

Ensuring that the teams I am part of remain ahead of the curve of customer expectations. Having the ability to predict what marketers are going to want from media owners in the future has also been a massive challenge.

How would you describe your leadership style?

My ambition is definitely to be a leader with conviction, confidence, vision and energy, and I constantly try my utmost to embrace these qualities. Empathy is also a significant part of my leadership style; I like to think I’m an approachable and friendly person not just a leader.

What’s the best piece of advice you've been given in your career?

Nil carborundum illegitimi – this jokingly means, ‘Don’t let the bastards get you down!’

If you could pick one media platform that currently offers the greatest potential, which would it be and why?

For me, mobile is the ultimate media platform as it offers unlimited opportunities in the media and advertising industry. Just the fact that people engage with their phone over 1500 times per week illustrates its raw and relatively untapped power.

If you could pick a single industry buzzword you could ban, what would it be and why?

I hate buzzwords that people bandy around but there is no set definition. If I had to choose a term it would have to be ‘native’, it’s my current favourite.

What are your passions outside of work?

The usual – spending time with family, road cycling and watching London Irish (rugby union club).

What’s the most exciting thing about being in the advertising and media industry today?

I would have to say the amount of change that’s occurring across the landscape all over the globe, from media agencies to publishers, media owners and start-ups. It’s getting faster and all business models face huge opportunities as well as threats – the industry will be a very different place in three years’ time.

Ross Webster, managing director, international sales, The Weather Channel

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