Fighting for the human in the marketing machine

We hosted a panel exploring how brands must now balance the positives of increasing technological sophistication in marketing with an awareness of the impact these new systems can have on the ‘human’ – and how that human must come first. Our hosts, Camilla Kemp and Tom Firth were joined for the conversation by Nina Bibby (CMO, O2 (Telefónica UK)), Jake Dubbins (Founder, Conscious Advertising Network) and Damian Collins, MP & Founder of Infotagion (

This discussion provided an opportunity to highlight some of the biggest issues and opportunities that our industry faces in the fight for good as we head into 2021.

Key topics included:

  • The need for brands to make “conscious choices”, and to hold themselves to account
  • Considering the implications of the ‘attention’ economy, along with issues such as psychological profiling
  • The key role of technology companies in the battle against misinformation
  • The question of increased regulation and whether distribution should be considered separately from content
  • The value of a positive end to end experience, driven by ‘real value’ to the customer
  • The importance of being values driven and acting in an authentic way
  • How creativity and data can work hand in hand and are not opposing forces
  • How marketers have an opportunity to become a positive force of change in society

Nina Bibby: “It is a conscious choice…as marketeers we can use the incredible capabilities of digital tech in positive ways – it helps us to understand our customers, build authentic connections with our customers – it should help enable us to deliver benefits that reduce friction, that make things simpler.” 

Jake Dubbins: “This is about making sure that we ask the right questions: do we know what our advertising is funding? Do we know where it is going? What sort of standards and policies and pressure can we put (in place) that are aligned to our own brand values or agency values? And how do we make sure that this is implemented effectively throughout a brands supply chain?”

Damian Collins: “As a consequence of the way these ad tools have been created, they can be used to help people make better choices, but they can also be used, I think, to promote and cause harm – that is where we want the tech companies to step up.”

Our panellists:

Jake Dubbins, Founder, Conscious Advertising Network

Jake Dubbins is the co-founder of the Conscious Advertising Network (CAN), a volunteer-led group supported by 90 + organisations including O2, WWF and the United Nations. CAN’s mission is to ensure the ethics catch up with the technology of modern advertising. Jake is a passionate advocate of business as a driver of social good.

Nina Bibby, CMO, O2 

Nina Bibby is CMO of O2, the UK’s No.1 network and is responsible for the company’s total marketing functions. Under her leadership, O2 was one of the first to join The Conscious Advertising Network and has a clear plan to deliver on creating a greener connected future. There’s no doubt that O2’s work with organisations including NSPCC and The Carbon Trust demonstrate they are a business committed to making positive change.  Nina is passionate about the importance of making brands authentic and relevant to customers, with data playing an important role in achieving this.

Damian Collins, MP & Founder of Infotagion

Damian Collins is the Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hyth, and the former Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.  Damian is also the Founder of Infotagion: Covid-19, an organisation created in response to the information contagion about COVID-19.

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