Martha to lead a ‘bottom up’ revolution in digital enablement. Perfect. Now invite Ms Gallop, Ms Buchanan and Ms McEttrick to tea and make the sh*t happen….


MarthaI have, truth be told, not always been the biggest fan.

But last night I read this. A ‘Draft One’ manifesto for Martha Lane Fox’s DotEveryone initiative.

Or rather I read this…

‘Dot Everyone will be a digitally powered organisation that will be both an authoritative public voice on the new digital networked world and also deliver things, showing how to transform services from the bottom up  – sometimes prototyping and delivering new services…

And then I read it again. This bit…

…showing how to transform services from the bottom up  – sometimes prototyping and delivering new services…

And, just to be certain, I read this again.

…from the bottom up.’

In the autumn of 2007 I found myself on the revenue panel at NewsInnovation.com at the City University of New York talking about bottom up advertising models. Let’s just say its a subject dear to my heart. Particularly if you move that thinking into a mobile setting. Where 96% of us will come to live our lives.

So on the basis of someone twigging that fundamental digital enablement will not come from Whitehall down…

And that Martha is starting to embrace this sense that ‘…whats around us currently is the death of the old top down model of making things happen through hierarchies… And the growth of the bottom up model – collaborative people power (C Gallop)’ then in the spirit of collaborative people power might I suggest she hauls three women of note into a small room somewhere and sorts this.

The first one would be Cindy. On the simple basis that she makes sh*t happen. And would share Martha’s passion for addressing the ratio when it came to women in positions of boardroom influence.

Her thinking is one of the cornerstones to our own thinking and development in this space. The queen of the ‘bottom up’ movement has to be Cindy.

Next up, I would add the CEO of Publicis (UK) to the mix, Karen Buchanan. My understanding would be that Publicis own BHH, of which Cindy used to be the chairwoman of their New York branch.

Because this made for very interesting reading the other week. One of the most powerful figures in the UK advertising industry leading a panel on the need for the industry to reinvent itself as a force for good.

‘…”good” is a natural path for the industry to take, and we need to start talking about our positive social, cultural and economic effect or as Knox pointed out, we risk being marginalized.

A key message to emerge was that we all need to stick at it. Keep to the agenda and make it long-term rather than merely playing lip service.’

Hopefully, Karen and I might sit down at some point and see where a conversation can lead. To my mind and that, I suspect of Ms Gallop, she’s playing our tune.

But to put any of this into motion, to make sh*t really happen, Publicis have to find client ad dollars to push into this space. To grease the wheels of Martha’s revolution.

Which is why I would add Michelle McEttrick to the party. Who she?

Ex-BHH. And the incoming head of marketing at Tescos.

If there was any brand that desperately needed to re-invent itself as a ‘force for good’, I suspect it would be Tescos.

Beautifully, from my perspective, Tescos have a local foothold. Not all their stores are out-of-town behemoths – the Budweiser of top-down consumerism.

They can regroup themselves around the network of local craft brewers that are their local High Street stores.

So, Tescos – urged on by Publicis – fund/sponsor the local free wifi for High Steets up and down the kingdom.

Through which they can not only drive their own mobile marketing initiatives, but also act as the local enabler of multiple agencies seeking to message that local-mobile audience with ‘advertising’ for their good

An advert for the arrival of the breast cancer screening van next week; an advert for the fact that the river is rising… Multiple services delivered into a networked world. From the bottom up.

Martha gets her digital revolution, Publicis – if Tescos are somewhere in their AdLand food chain – gets a happy client finally seen to be a force for good locally and Cindy gets to see her thinking in action. That someone, somewhere, has finally made sh*t happen.

All yours, Martha.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *