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MediaCat Magazine Podcast

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MediaCat is a UK-based online publication exploring marketing and media change. We focus on brands, the environments where they operate, and the industries that serve them, reporting on culture, society, ideas, trends, and perspectives. Delving into modern brand experiences, evolving media landscapes, emerging forms of insight, the dynamic world of commerce, forces of transformation in organisations and markets, and the drivers of social impact, the magazine aims to guide professionals navigating a brave new world.


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MediaCat is a UK-based online publication exploring marketing and media change. We focus on brands, the environments where they operate, and the industries that serve them, reporting on culture, society, ideas, trends, and perspectives. Delving into modern brand experiences, evolving media landscapes, emerging forms of insight, the dynamic world of commerce, forces of transformation in organisations and markets, and the drivers of social impact, the magazine aims to guide professionals navigating a brave new world.






I’m a copywriter… get me out of here! With Glenn Fisher

For this podcast our Editor Mike Piggott spoke to Glenn Fisher. Glenn is an author, copywriter and speaker. His book The Art Of The Click was shortlisted for a Business Book of the Year award. He also created a copywriting podcast, All Good Copy, and is co-founder of The Fix, a project by copywriters for copywriters. They discussed the state of the marketing industry when it comes to copy, and how copywriters need to be involved earlier in the creative process, the things Glenn learned from their inaugural event Fix Fest, long copy and humour in copy, as well as briefly, somehow, touching on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!


Claire Atkin on the disinformation economy

In this pod our Editor Mike Piggott chats to Claire Atkin, CEO and Co-Founder of Check My Ads, the adtech watchdog. They discuss how Check My Ads has evolved from an agency to an institute, Claire's definition of brand safety, dismantling the disinformation economy, what's happening inside corporations right now, what a better advertising system might look like, as well as the possible positive and negative impact that AI might have on brand safety in the future. They also briefly manage to talk about lemons. This podcast is half an hour long, and packed with lots of insight and wisdom from Claire. We hope you enjoy. Sign up to Check My Ads newsletter, to stay updated on the latest developments around brand safety.


Rani Patel on truth and lies, Gen Z, trust and transparency

For this latest MediaCat Magazine podcast our Editor Mike Piggott spoke to Rani Patel. Rani is MD and Founder at CALLING, Adweek Europe Future is Female winner 2021, and Campaign Top 10 Trailblazer 2021, and a returning guest to the pod. They discussed the July theme at the magazine of 'Truth and Lies', Rani's new agency CALLING, work the agency did for Trans Pride 2023, their Medium blog called CALLING Verses, which explores topics such as Black masculinity, trans pride, and advertising, how and why transparency is so important for brands and businesses, and where Gen Z stands in terms of truth and trust. Useful links and info CALLING was founded in January 2023 by Rani Patel and Josh Tenser, CALLING is a creative collective, invented for a world of change; advertising with a higher calling. CALLING is a different choice for brands seeking a creative partner that reflects the world their audience lives in. By using a fluid, collective model, the CALLING team is designed to constantly reflect changes in culture. Helping brands be seen by their audience — and allowing communities to see themselves in the work those brands produce. Clients include: Dr. Marten’s, Self Space, Inner Circle and Interflora. CALLING VERSES is the writing platform by CALLING — the creative collective for a world of change. Monthly chapters by friends who are heard less often. You can find out more about CALLING on IG and LinkedIn MediaCat Magazine podcast: Rani Patel on the fluid identity of Gen Z


We discuss beautiful magazines with Steven Watson

For this podcast our Editor Mike Piggott spoke to Steven Watson, Director at Stack Magazines. We start this pod in a slightly unusual fashion, with Mike and Steven immediately talking about moustaches, naked men and subverting the male gaze. They eventually get around to discussing magazines. They begin with why Steven started the business in 2008, how the industry and the desire for print has changed over the years, how Steven picks titles for subscribers, who the subscribers are, why AI is no threat to indie publications, and finally, they talk about some of Steven's favourite titles (see the list below). Useful links 10 of the best independent magazines right now Indiecon Festival 2023, in Hamburg (Steven is speaking) Stack's Discord Russia-Ukraine war: indie magazines against hopelessness

Kirsty Saddler and Annalisa Roy on the culture of swim

For this podcast our Editor Mike Piggott spoke to Annalisa Roy and Kirsty Saddler. Annalisa was previously head of strategy at Grey London, and has also worked for AMV BBDO, BBH and Publicis. She now runs her own brand and creative consultancy. Her client, Kirsty, is VP Global Brand Marketing at Speedo International. Kirsty has worked agency side at DDB, BBH New York and Anomaly, and was head of strategy at BBH London before making the jump into the brand world with Leon Restaurants, and then moving onto Speedo two years ago. In this podcast Mike asks Kirsty and Annalisa about incremental versus radical change and how you balance the two as a leader, whether clients know what they want when it comes to briefs, the culture of swim and making the water more equitable, how much brands can (and perhaps should) help improve our way of life, the water and wellness, and Speedos' plans for the upcoming Olympics. Useful links Speedos Swim United Annalisa Roy's consultancy Speedos' advice and blog


‘No More Menemies’ Lori Meakin on gender equality

In this podcast MediaCat Magazine's Editor Mike Piggott speaks to Lori Meakin. Lori is an exec member of WACL, co-founder of Joint, Founder & CEO of The Others and Me, and author of No More Menemies, a book about building a more gender-equal world where men are no longer the enemy. They discuss why Lori decided to write the book (trigger warning: there is a brief mention of sexual assault in the first few minutes of this discussion). They then get into why and how men are lost and how they can become more pro-social, '90s girl power and what feminism means today, why it gets a bad rep and where men fit into these conversations, why patriarchy is not fit for purpose, and how the themes of the book apply to the advertising and marketing world. We end the pod with Lori sharing her four favourite books, as part of our ongoing series. About the book We live in troubled times: even though gender equality is proven to benefit all of us, including men, the anti-feminist backlash is growing, especially amongst young men, and cancel culture creates a climate of fear even for the men who want to help. So how can we get past the gender wars and 'menemies' mindset, and build a world that works better for all of us? No More Menemies answers that question. In it, Lori sets out a Reality Check on eight big issues of gender inequality, including sex, parenting, taking up space, and the world of work. She explores the relationship between homophobia, transphobia and misogyny, how society has, for centuries, taught men to belittle anything ‘girly’ and to police each other's masculinity; and she highlights how much of the problem remains invisible to all of us. Then, rather than telling men how they should change, she builds from what they already want and care about. She’s spent many hours talking to all kinds of men, from undergrads to grandads, to understand what it feels like to be a man right now; and to try and uncover reasons why men might genuinely want to lean in to gender equality. The results are fascinating, sometimes funny, and full of hope and positivity. Useful links Buy No More Menemies in paperback, hardback or on Kindle Follow Lori on LinkedIn for the latest opinions and comments Find out more about her consultancy The Others & Me And please vote for her to take the No More Menemies learnings to SXSW


Cody Amos discusses VFX, directing and getting into the business

For this podcast our Editor Mike Piggott spoke to Cody Amos, Creative Director at Heckler HQ. Cody has around a decade of experience in film visual effects, working at places such as Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Weta Digital. They discuss Cody's way into the business and the many hats he now wears as a Creative Director, overseeing VFX and sometimes directing himself. At Heckler HQ Cody now does a lot of work for brands, creating adverts and so on. They discuss how this differs from his work on Hollywood movies (such as Spider-Man: Far From Home) and his thoughts on the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike in the US and how the VFX community doesn't have a union in the way that actors and writers do. They also touch on some work Cody did for Worksafe Victoria, a campaign around gendered violence, and talk about the trend in film and TV to just 'fix everything in post', putting pressure on VFX artists. We hope you enjoy this fascinating conversation. Useful links Worksafe Victoria - campaign on gendered violence Cody's FX showreel from the movie world (including work on Spider-Man, Star Wars and The Hunger Games) Featured image: Unlimited Motion Ltd / Unsplash

Mark Fawcett on Gen Z’s desire to learn useful skills

For this pod Mike Piggott spoke to Mark Fawcett, CEO and Chairman at brand and social impact agency, We Are Futures. Mike asked Mark about his article for the magazine on Gen Z's quest for fairness, and dug into just how much truth and lies impacts the work of We Are Futures. They talked about purpose, trust, radical honesty from businesses, and Mark shared some insight around Gen Z's wants and needs when it comes to what brands can assist them with; to help get them into the world of work. Featured image: Polina Tankilevitch / Pexels


Rebel With A Cause — with Louisa Shaeri

In a special episode for the Rebel With A Cause series Opal Turner talked to artist-turned-coach, Louisa Shaeri. Louisa used her own experiences as an autistic creative, her artwork and then neuroscientific research to form The SOLA System, a coaching method for neurodivergent creatives. If this interview was printed, you’d find half of it highlighted. We hope it will be as useful for some of you as it was for Opal, tears included. Louisa guides us through so much: from that sweet over-indexing of neurodivergent folk in the creative industries to pretending that ‘good science’ equals objectivity, psychological safety as the necessary grounds for creativity as well as strategy, and the burnout epidemic. Plus other soul soothing titbits. Fact check: we couldn’t find the specific stat Louisa references on the levels of ND students on creative courses. However, The British Interactive Marketing Association BIMA Tech Inclusion and Diversity Reportvii showed that 20% of respondents self-identified as neurodivergent, this is a 50% over-representation compared with the general population. The report also identified that people with autism were 16 times over-represented in the interactive marketing sector. By contrast, ND people are under-represented in the employed labour force. Useful links Find out more about The SOLA System. Take the Gallup Strengthsfinder. Explore the binary further, in this delightful podcast with Isabelle Bale. Jem's work on circus skills creates a space that is not about getting it right. Visit Laurie’s neuro-queer network. Finally, since it is Pride Month, this is your regular reminder to give that £££. We encourage you to give to the disabled LGBTQIA+ folk, who are often excluded from so much of this month’s joy, and to our Trans siblings rights, safety, freedom and joy. Quotes from the pod “What is key for anyone who experiences any kind of marginalisation, particularly for those who are processing and perceiving differently and haven’t had that acknowledged and affirmed, is really creating a space of safety.” “The foundation of safety is what means we can access creativity and the strategic parts of our brains. Those skill-sets are so much harder to access when we are worried about our job or when we think we are going to fail a client.” “So burnout is your body has something to say. I think what a lot of people experience ‘ If I listen to it that means I’m going to have to acknowledge I can’t do any of this’ and what we do is project that into the future and think that we’ll never be able to do it.” “So much of what neurodivergent people experience is that the given paths didn’t work and they’re looking for how. What I bring them to is that we don’t need to know how. We just need to know what and why and let the why fuel the fact we’re going to have to try a bunch of different stuff.”


Rebel With A Cause — with Lex Hearth

In this instalment of Rebel With A Cause Opal Turner sat down with creative soul Lex Hearth. Lex is probably the most multi-disciplinary person we’ve had on the pod: a DJ, brand strategist and digital marketer who has worked for Nike and BBH London, and the author of upcoming book, 'Everything I Know About Marketing'. The ambition, passion and emotional insight Lex has for her work is infectious, and we hope that comes across. This discussion touches on how one spins all the plates in one's life to how to go freelance, self-confidence and legacy versus impact. If that wasn’t enough, you can subscribe to Lex's substack, where each week she picks five bits of culture or creative she's enjoying. Useful links Read Bono’s memoir Watch Virgil Abloh: How to be both Listen Rebel With A Cause archive Deep read with Phoebe Lovatt Quotes from Lex 'Make a decision that you deserve to be able to create something and put it out into the world, and that your voice is valid in whatever space you would like it to be.' 'It takes a lot of self-confidence to create, to believe that your voice is valid. I don’t have a fear of giving up, but I do have a fear of succeeding.' 'There’s a really nice Lauryn Hill quote which is; "You may not touch a million lives but you can light up your own space.." I think that’s true. That’s how I look at legacy. Each of us touch a few people through our words, through our deeds.' 'People think that money moves the world, but it’s culture that moves the world, and often money follows that.'


Rebel With A Cause — with Craft Media’s Sally and Jen

For this latest Rebel With A Cause podcast, hosted by RANKIN's Opal Turner, we have not one but two brilliant media brains as guests: Jen and Sally, founders of Craft Media. Opal was very excited to host this chat, as Jen and Sally spilled the beans discussing their unique place in the industry, and what happens when comms planning is approached, neutrally and holistically. This chat comes in at just under an hour, and is packed full of wisdom. Quotes from the pod... 'When we hire planners or strategists we almost have to break them for three months…. we’re very honest about it! You’ve been trained to deliver an answer in a certain way and actually, we want you to do the opposite. We want you to take a step back and think more generally. It’s like breaking a horse!' 'We’re also teaching people to have a point of view on creative, because it’s been so divorced. Encouraging people to have a voice has been a huge part of what we do.' 'As an industry we are forcing people to specialise too early. It sort of gives everyone a blinkered point of view of the world and the net result of that is they can’t step up and take an overview, because they only know their thing. And how boring is that?! I can see why people get bored.'


Riot Games’ Eric Tan talks Arcane, gaming, and music

For the latest MediaCat Magazine podcast our Editor Mike Piggott spoke to Eric Tan, Head of Music, China and APAC Partnerships at Riot Games. Riot are the video game developers behind League Of Legends and VALORANT, as well as the company behind the animated steampunk action-adventure show Arcane on Netflix. They spoke about Eric's role at Riot and how his first year in the job has gone, his upbringing, being born in Hong Kong and educated in the UK and US. They discuss where the idea for Arcane began, with the music video 'Get Jinxed' nine years ago, and Riot's plans for more animation, immersive experiences and concert and esports events. Naturally, they also dig into music, and discuss the song Milio, the gentle flame, a beautiful track on the League Of Legends YouTube channel. They also talk about possible orchestral performances of video game scores, like Doom Eternal's metal soundtrack, and whether Eric has seen the Apple TV+ show Mythic Quest, and whether that's what it's like to work for a gaming company. Playlists League of Legends VALORANT K/DA


Imagen Insights’ Sinead Lambe and Helena French on idols

For this latest podcast MediaCat Magazine's Editor Mike Piggott spoke to Sinead Lambe and Helena French of Imagen Insights. Helena is a Client Success Exec. and Sinead is Associate Director of Communications. The conversation focused on the March theme at the magazine, 'Kill Your Idols', specifically in relation to Gen Z. Sinead and Helena talked about idols they had growing up, like the first generation of YouTube influencers, and how what they demand from idols has changed as they've gotten older. They discuss whether idols have a place in today's world, what Gen Z thinks about cancel culture, wholesome idols like Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan, and where Gen Z stands on happiness. Useful links Jay Richards and Jamie Oyebode on Gen Z and joy in simplicity Featured image: Ron Lach / Pexels


Can magic mushrooms be medicine? We ask Tara Austin

For this latest MediaCat Magazine podcast our Editor Mike Piggott chatted to Tara Austin. Tara is a behavioural and brand strategist, but also, more importantly, a psychedelic evangelist, and campaign director for PAR.Global. PAR.Global is working to get psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms, rescheduled so that the scientific community can study them, with the aim to use their properties for countless medicinal purpose, not least to hugely help with mental health. Mike and Tara discuss the UK wellness industry and touch on political regulation, and political will, and how Gen Z and millennials are looking to shape the world as they want to be.


Rebel With A Cause — with Asad Shaykh

In this episode of Rebel With A Cause Opal Turner sits down with Asad Shaykh, Head of Strategy at Grey London and Group Strategy Director at Pride in London. This episode will leave you feeling more whole, confident and content. Asad’s holistic and poetic approach to life and work gives us beautiful lessons: from a productive mindset and philosophy for creative work and what makes great versus good, to a desire to manifest positive projections when it comes to our trans and non-binary siblings. A note from Opal: I hope this conversation makes your soul sing, as it did mine. Thank you again to Asad, and every other guest for sharing your stories, time and hearts with me. I am forever humbled and immensely grateful.


Rebel With A Cause — with Stuart Lambert

For the latest Rebel With A Cause episode (recorded in February) the focus is on climate hope and human kindness, with a bumper book list to keep you going for the next 10 months. In this episode, RANKIN's Opal Turner talks to Stuart Lambert, co-founder of Blurred, a strategic and creative advisory firm specialising in ESG and Purpose (ESGP). The roaming conversation touches on lots of interesting things, from creating workplace culture (at home or in the office) to Stu’s view on how storytelling is actually a logical and strategic process, and of course, a little nerding out with Opal deciding Star Trek is the OG Hopepunk series. Jump in. Bumper book list Charles Clover of the Blue Marine foundation Rewilding the Sea George Monbiot’s book Regenesis Humankind by Rutger Bregman Kim Stanley Robinsons' The Ministry for the Future 'I’m sort of a natural storyteller, that’s what I enjoy doing. I always think of that as a really logical, strategic process.' 'We conflate creative with art, there’s a lot of frustrated artists maybe in our creative, advertising, PR & Marketing world… but we’re not George R Martin, we’re communicators and sellers of ideas. I believe that’s more of a well-constructed argument that you persuade with.' 'There is real change happening and I think it’s important we know that and believe in it and feel inspired because what's the alternative?' 'I do think that stories of hope and optimism and belief in an individual's capability to create a positive impact and make a difference, I think there’s a need for it.' Featured image: George Monbiot's Regenesis, reviewed on


Rebel With A Cause — with Isabelle Bale

For the latest Rebel With A Cause podcast RANKIN's Opal Turner chats to Isabelle Bale, Strategy Director at M&C Saatchi World Services. Opal and Isabelle dive into the topic of non-binary thinking and how it can help move the industry forward. On the back of Isabelle’s recent win of the Chair’s Prize for Attitude & Inspiration for the 2022 IPA Excellence Diploma in Brands, this discussion explores the large amount of binaries in our industry’s practices. From hierarchy to audience definitions to scrapping awards in favour of a system like that of higher education. This podcast's shout out is to Essity, for Womb Stories being a brilliant non-binary piece of work. You can read Isabelle’s paper here. Still hungry for more non-binary delightfulness? These two books are Isabelle’s top reads: Full Spectrum Thinking and Life Isn’t Binary. Featured image: Delia Giandeini / Unsplash


Rebel With A Cause — with Co-op’s Kenyatte Nelson

We kick off the MediaCat Magazine podcast for 2023 with one of our Rebel With A Cause series, hosted by RANKIN's Opal Turner. For this one we hear from Kenyatte Nelson, Chief Membership & Customer Officer at co-op. Kenyatte managed to give us an unintentional masterclass on intentional living, leading and luck. Maybe it’s just Opal’s FYP (that's For You Page on TikTok) filled with ‘Lucky Girl Syndrome’ posts, but Kenyatte gives great practical advice on defining what we want — from ourselves, our lives and the brands we work for, because, in his words, 'It’s incredible how lucky you become when you start working towards something.' Kenyatte encourages us all to see the value in pure curiosity, to reframe failure and success by defining these things for ourselves, which even prompts a personal realisation from Opal. Insightful, heart-warming and helpful, this episode is just the listen for starting your year with an intentional step towards being your best self, and absolutely nobody else. Opal wants to give a shout out to RANKIN CREATIVE's Through The Lens series for introducing her to Kenyatte. You can find the episodes here.


Rebel With A Cause — with Jo White

This latest Rebel With A Cause podcast starts with a shoutout to Jed Hallam’s platform for working class folk in adland, Common People, and its journey to redefine ‘working class’. For this episode Opal speaks with Headland Consultancy's Jo White. They dive into how being both the 'rebel' and the 'cause' often leads one to become cause driven. This discussion is peppered with brilliant analogies... from something about a concertina to the SAS and Trojan horses that we find in language. Plus some fangirling over Extinction Rebellion's tactics and more. We hope you enjoy the last MediaCat Magazine podcast for this year, and we'll see you next year!


Self-expression and side quests, with AKQA’s Jade Tomlin

For the latest MediaCat Magazine podcast our Editor Mike Piggott spoke to Jade Tomlin. Jade is Group Creative Director at AKQA, previously Creative Director at Tribal Worldwide London. She was one of Campaign's Faces to Watch in 2009, one of Campaign and Creative Equals ‘30 future female leaders’ in 2017, and one of The Dots '100 trailblazers for women and non-binary talent' in 2020. They discussed side quests, and how much of life and work goes according to plan, specifically within the creative marketing industry. They discussed having a main goal versus getting bogged down in a plan, the impact of parenthood and covid on planning, how side quests can grow in interesting ways, and Jade's future side quest plans.