To showcase the personalities of the people behind the media and marketing sector, The Drum speaks to individuals who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what insights and life experience they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions are put to Philippa Snare, senior vice-president EMEA at The Trade Desk.
What was your first ever job?
I ran a pub when I was at college. I loved it…it was the best way to learn about and understand people. It gave me huge confidence in how to run a business and also taught me how to treat customers. It’s a job I still slightly covet now, and I wonder if I will go back to that at some point – like James Blunt!
Which industry buzzword annoys you most?
Diversity and inclusion. I do believe in the principles, but the way this phrase is being thrown around is actually creating a lack of diversity and some pretty poor examples of inclusion. It frustrates me that there is still so much bias, with a narrow selection of opinions being amplified and causing some areas to gain significantly more traction than others.
Who do you find most interesting to follow on social media?
I love following comedians – I think they have a wonderful way of pointing out important issues in the world, in a disarming way. Old and young – from John Cleese, through Ricky Gervais to Jack Whitehall and Matt Lucas. I also love to follow all my sports: riding, diving, skiing, and golf. I love learning, and they give me ideas and techniques to practice when possible.
Highlight of your career (so far?)
Meeting Will Carling (childhood dream), sharing a bathroom with Bill Gates, and going on a UN mission… to name just a few!
What piece of tech can you not live without?
Well, it’s easy to say phone. But I actually think these days I appreciate my ice maker more!
Who or what did you have posters of on your bedroom wall as a teenager?
Rob Lowe, Marilyn Monroe and Salvador Dali (sounds odd now!)
In advertising, what needs to change soon?
Integrity. For us to protect and maintain the open internet - which is an incredibly valuable source of information, inspiration and entertainment (now more so than ever) - we need to embrace the way the business model works for all companies. Right now, a handful of big platforms are drawing in the lion’s share of advertising investment. But this needs to change. Spend should be spread amongst a wide variety of companies and sites, so we can all continue to enjoy free access to quality content online – which was the premise of the internet in the first place.
What is (in your opinion) the greatest film/album/book of your life?
My favourite book is The Origin of Species, and the greatest films are the Star Wars Trilogy (the originals!) Between them, these contain the answer to every difficult question in life - in my opinion.
Which industry event can you not afford to miss each year and why?
I would say Davos – but this has changed a great deal. I am not sure that there is one event… I think we should get better as an industry to be less led by annualised events and more flexible at creating new approaches that are agile and opportune and led by need.
What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Stop running so fast… it was at a time in my career where it was the right time for me to slow down and listen more, and think less about the next job and more about the next set of experiences that would be valuable for me to learn in order to serve others.
I have found that good advice is simple, but lands at the right time for you to hear it. I have been lucky to have worked with some incredible managers that have known that timing and delivery with positive intent are critical to individual growth.