My Media Week: Jon Mew, IAB UK

A busy week of events, politics, industry announcements and meeting members, all squeezed into four days, for Jon Mew, the chief executive of IAB UK.

Jon Mew: the chief executive of IAB UK
Jon Mew: the chief executive of IAB UK


The week starts relatively easy as it’s the Easter Bank Holiday. Having just returned from two weeks away at a residential business school learning how to be a proper business executive, I’m spending the day with the family.

My wife Kim and daughter Eleanor are having a girls’ day out with afternoon tea and a trip to the ballet. I decided to restore balance to the world by taking my son Charlie to the football to watch Charlton beat Gillingham 3-0. It’s Easter Monday so I also eat a lot of chocolate.


With the shorter week, all my meetings are crammed into four days, kicking off with our weekly team meeting.

The majority of our discussion centres around our IAB PwC 2016 AdSpend Report, which has just been released. It’s another strong story, with digital growing the fastest it has in nine years, driven largely by mobile, to reach £10.3bn in 2016.

My next meeting is my monthly catch up with IAB chairman and industry gent, Richard Eyre CBE. We discuss how we can further improve the IAB and the work it does on behalf of its members. This is interrupted mid meeting by the news that Theresa May has called a surprise General Election for June.

Conversations regarding how the industry can be made even better continue over lunch at Sticks & Sushi with Dara Nasr, UK MD at Twitter. It’s always fun catching up with Dara and beside important work chat we spend a lot of time talking about his recent Dubai holiday, renewing my feeling I should get out there one day soon.

Most interestingly, Dara shares how he takes management inspiration from Glenn Tamplin, the manager of Billericay Town FC who manages to get the whole team to sing R Kelly's The World's Greatest.

After lunch I catch up with Neil McKinnen, head of marketing at Infectious Media, to explain the restructuring I’ve implemented at the IAB since becoming CEO in January. It’s great to get out to see our members, hear the latest developments in their business and discuss how we can support their further success in this vibrant market.


This morning kicks off with our Mobile Steering Committee meeting, which is a session I hold dear to my heart as I helped launched it in 2007. I join the meeting for the first 30 minutes to outline my vision for the organisation going forwards. If you’ve ever been in that meeting, I’m sure you can imagine the warm reception I received. Think the closing scene of Dead Poets Society and you’ll be close. At least in my head.

Later in the day I attend the UKOM Perspectives on Trust event at Ham Yard Hotel. This is well attended by many senior folk from across the industry and it’s great to hear from the ever-excellent Matt Stockbridge from Mondelez, who gives a typically entertaining presentation on the challenges of being a large brand today.

It is good to also see James Wildman give his first speech since becoming CEO of Hearst UK, as well as a thought-provoking speech by Matt Elek, CEO EMEA, Vice Media, who outlines why millennials don’t trust the older generations – basically because we’ve messed it all up for them. An interesting perspective considering yesterday’s election news.

This event was supposed to be headlined by Michael Gove, but unfortunately he couldn’t make it, as he had to be back at Parliament to vote on the election proposal.

The evening finished on a similar political bent as I attended the AA dinner at the House of Commons. This was intended to be an opportunity to make MPs better aware about the vital role the entire advertising industry plays in the UK economy. Maybe unsurprisingly, the conversation moves onto how important digital will be to this summer’s election campaigns.

After a long and eventful day, I get the train back to Tunbridge Wells, arriving home exhausted but inspired at 11.30pm.


Today starts bright and early with our IAB board meeting, which includes a great brainstorming session on positive projects we can bring to fruition this year.

After that, I work with our team on further prep for Engage in October. We’ve already got several fantastic speakers confirmed, which I can’t wait to announce later in the year.

I then have a video call with Jimmy Wales (Mr Wikipedia), to prep for the interview I am conducting with him at our IAB Leadership Summit, which takes place over three days next week at Sopwell House.

After the huge success of our inaugural event, and with 180 CEOs and industry leaders attending this year, I’m looking forward to the inspiring conversations that focus on how we can work together for the good, and the future, of the digital advertising industry.

The afternoon is spent at our IAB round table discussion on Brand Safety, organised by our new CMO, James Chandler, exclusively for our advertiser members. There’s a strong mix of companies in attendance, including Lloyds, the government (again), Tesco and PlayStation, among others. It's really helpful to learn what the IAB and industry needs to do to give brands greater understanding of digital and the opportunities it offers.

In the evening, I head out for dinner with Mark Howe, Roisin Donnelly and Richard Eyre at Pollen Street Social, which is my first opportunity to thank them for their support since I took over as CEO.


As I’m away a lot, I try to work from home on Fridays, or at least take the kids to school in the morning. It’s good to remind them I exist. This morning, I take Charlie to his judo lesson at 8am and then drop Eleanor at school.

Then, I head into the office for a morning catch up with the management team before eventually shutting up shop slightly early so we can take the whole team bowling. I shouldn’t pick the most important part of my week, but my team winning the bowling is definitely it. What a great way to end a great week.

The Lowdown

Age: 40
Favourite media: As I spend all my time on my mobile, everything that’s delivered through that
My biggest inspiration: The Hoff
Dream job: I think I’m living it. Outside of reality, it would have to be a rock star or the manager of Liverpool Football Club
Not a lot of people know this about me... I hold a bizarre record for the number of hits or near misses by a firework. Far too many to be a coincidence

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