THURSDAY 12 MAY 2016 3:18 PM


“Congrats Jamal, very efficient,” Riccardo Zacconi, CEO of King, said to SBTV’s young founder Jamal Edwards about his speedy rise to prominence on the digital scene.

The pair were inducted into the BIMA Hall of Fame this week for their lifetime achievements to digital communications. They join the likes of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Stephen Fry and Joanna Shields in the BIMA Hall of Fame.

The presentation took place alongside the BIMA 100, a list of the best and brightest in British digital, covering all aspects of communications – from developers to creatives to leaders. The event, at London’s Ham Yard Hotel, brought many of the top 100 together for the first time.

Edwards and Zacconi discussed their perspectives on British digital and how the global industry will develop over time. Edwards says he was inspired to become an entrepreneur by his mother, Virgin’s Richard Branson and Simon Cowell. From the ripe age of 15, he began working in social media and building his now successful music business, SBTV. But he thinks some changes still need to take place in the industry. He says schools should begin to teach social media etiquette so people don’t put their career pursuits at risk through social gaffes. He also says apprenticeships can be helpful in getting kids into digital careers, the only thing they’re lacking is a way in. “Young people just need the opportunity to be able to do it,” he adds.

Zacconi talked about the competition between the UK and American digital industries and said Britain needs to continuously develop in order to remain a global player. He says the government should not over-regulate the industry or it will lag behind, but notes that the British government is achieving a lot with skills development in schools and in fostering transatlantic business relationships.

The BIMA 100 was divided into 10 categories including: brand-side digital stars, CEOs & leaders, champions, creatives, innovators & entrepreneurs, UX & service design, devs & makers, client service stars and planners & strategists.

Those selected include Amanda Neylon, head of digital at Macmillan Cancer Support, Daniel Harvey, creative director of experience design at SapientNitro, Julie Seal, creative strategist at Facebook, Michael Islip, CEO of DigitasLBi and Richard George, director of digital at eir.

The event was dedicated to CEO of ISOSHealth Abigail Wilson, one of the 100 list, who passed away unexpectedly this week.

BIMA will award the best in British digital communications and marketing at the BIMA Awards in the autumn. The shortlist will be announced on 18 July.