Getting to know Jed Hallam
Last month we welcomed our new Chief Strategy Officer for Initiative UK, Jed Hallam, to the fourth floor at St. Johns Square. Whilst he’s been settling in, we’ve asked him a few questions to get to know him a little better…
Can you tell us a bit about your previous roles in media?
I joined Initiative from Mindshare, where I spent five years as head of strategy. Prior to that, I was at creative agency VCCP where I was charged with transforming the planning department and setting up their social agency. Before that, I helped set up one of the UKs first social media agencies. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but the one thread to my career so far has been an unerring obsession with understanding people and culture and figuring out how brands can play a stronger role for both.
What attracted you to IPG Mediabrands and what are your first impressions?
I met with both Richard Morris and Stef Burford, and was absolutely blown away at the passion and vision they both shared, but what really attracted me was the fact that it was perfectly aligned with my own passions, vision, and ambition for Initiative. I’ve spent a long time fighting for people to recognise the importance of brands, consumer, and culture – and joining Initiative has felt like coming home.
What will you be doing here at IPG Mediabrands?
I’m responsible for our product, and our strategy, and insights and analytics team. It’s a brilliant role that gives me both breadth across the agency but also allows me to go deep on strategy. I also am working with key clients to help them to take the initiative in culture.
What’s the most innovative client you’ve worked with in the past?
Gah! This is a bit like picking my favourite Stevie Wonder song… There are four clients where I’ve felt an energy from the clients to really behave differently and prioritise creativity, innovation, and clear strategic thinking; CHANEL, Jaguar Land Rover, O2, and TK Maxx. There’s very little to thread those four brands together, but for me, they’re all strong brands run by equally brave clients, who knew that a strong position in culture would help both their brand and bottom line perform better.
Who’s someone in the industry you admire the most?
In an intellectual capacity, it would probably be Martin Weigel at Wieden and Kennedy Amsterdam. While many would call him a planners planner, I’d say he pushes against a lot of the orthodoxy and fluff in our industry and discipline.
What are your favourite things outside of work?
I have a wonderful partner and three year old daughter, so I spend every opportunity I get having adventures with them. I also run a weekly music newsletter at www.lwstd.co.uk/letter, I’m a compulsive reader, and I collect dusty old records.