Campaign UK 40 Over 40 2023 winner: Jane McDaid, Thinkhouse

Thinkhouse Founder Jane McDaid has been selected as one of Campaign UK's 40 Over 40 following weeks of judges’ deliberations.

The initiative, which is now in its third iteration in the UK, expanded to include entries from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa this year.

A total of 40 professionals aged 40 and above have been selected, with judges highlighting candidates ranging from those who “go beyond the 9-5 working day to pass forward knowledge” to others who show an “impressive and tangible sustainability impact”.

Those who have been recognised in this year’s scheme occupy roles from across the advertising industry, including creative and media agencies, brands, technology companies, media owners and casting agencies.

Other winners on this year's list include Les Binet (Adam & Eve/DDB), Adrian Botan (McCann Worldgroup), Britt Iversen (Havas London) and Asad Shaykh (Grey London). See the full list here.

This year’s panel of judges was chaired by Camilla Kemp, former M&C Saatchi London chief executive, and comprised 14 professionals from across the sector, including some of whom have previously won a place on the 40 Over 40 list.

Read Campaign UK's piece about Jane below...

As a young twenty-something working in marketing, Jane McDaid could see that brands were missing the mark when it came to connecting in a culturally-relevant way with younger consumers. So she set about changing that, vowing to build her company around this principle.

Twenty years later and now regarded as something of a fearless disruptor, McDaid and Thinkhouse’s insights department The Youth Lab are regarded as industry-leading thought leadership engines, powering alternative thinking that is rooted in the disruptive behaviours, beliefs, habits and opinions of the next generation.

The effect has been to inspire businesses and marketing leaders to close the gap on intergenerational thinking and to drive better decisions that are rooted in digital-first, planet-friendly, creatively progressive thinking.

McDaid is one of the leading marketing authorities on sustainable action and has spent years advocating for awareness, change, action and accountability within the marketing and advertising sector; she was the first agency leader in Ireland to sign up to the international marketing industry’s Pledge to tackle the Climate Crisis.

The agency walks the walk on sustainable and social action, leading numerous initiatives both pro-bono and with client partners to drive change in the areas of equality, environmental, social-justice and youth advocacy. It is de-carbonising its client base by refusing to work with fossil fuel reliant clients and is leading the way on sharing industry-changing reports, research and thought leadership to help our industry do the same.

"Jane is an inspiring leader. I've worked with her for over 10 years and witnessed how she reenergises, reimagines and reframes the business to respond to the biggest business and societal challenges of our time. She's fearless, funny and has that creative 'magic dust' that is rare in marketing and business." David Coyle, Head of Finance, Thinkhouse.

What the judges say:

“I could feel the energy and positivity coming through when I read this submission. Those are great qualities and I have no doubt Jane’s success is in part a result of that (and her obvious talent of course)."

Check out the rest of the list here.