M-RCBG Senior Fellow-Led Study Group: Eric Salama

Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 9:00 AM 
Zoom registration is required. Please use a harvard.edu email if available.

UK Government Policy towards social media platforms and lessons for the US : Cabinet Secretary Oliver Dowden in discussion with M-RCBG Senior Fellow Eric Salama

The UK has been at the forefront of new policies regarding social media and digital companies.  It has been pressing for a digital tax in discussions with the Trump and Biden Administrations and has recently set up The Digital Markets Unit, a new body specifically designed to govern the behaviour of platforms such as Google and Facebook.  Unit is designed to promote competition, give more control to consumers and support sustainability of news publishers.  Come listen to Oliver Dowden explain evolving UK Government policy and discuss parallels with US.

Oliver Dowden head shot smiling, dark blue jacketOliver Dowden CBE was appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on 13 February 2020.  He was previously Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office from 24 July 2019 to 13 February 2020, and Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office from 9 January 2018 to 24 July 2019.  Amongst other things he has responsibility for UK strategy and policy for Arts and Culture, Broadcasting, Creative, Media ownership and merger, Museums and galleries, Sport, Telecommunications and online, Tourism.

Eric Salama speaking in front of an audienceEric Salama is a global business leader with a track record of transformation.  He has recently stepped down as CEO of Kantar, one of the world’s leading research, insight, data and consulting companies after leading its carve-out from WPP and a sale of a majority stake to Bain Capital.  During his 18 years as CEO the business grew to over $4bn of revenue, 30k employees, operating in all markets around the world and working with major multinationals and local giants – clients and partners such as Google, Facebook,  Alibaba, Globo, BBC, Yilli, ITC, JBS, Coke, Unilever, Loreal, VW, Group M, Omnicom.  The business is unique in combining survey and behavioural data at scale around the world and by 2020 had moved from being a collection of agency brands to going to market under a single brand and with a single P&L, Kantar. Prior to Kantar Eric served on the main board of WPP for almost a decade as the CEO of wpp.com and the Head of Strategy, working as part of the team which built it into the largest marketing services company in the world. Eric has served as a Trustee of the British Museum, a Director of UK Government Department DFID and a Governor of Birkbeck College London.  On 1st July he will become Chair of leading UK Charity Comic Relief.  He has presented extensively around the world in Government and Parliamentary forums, public conferences and client events.  He was both a Chairman and a juror at Cannes Lions Festivals of Advertising. He worked for the Labour Party Front Bench Team on Foreign Affairs 1983-6, was appointed by Tony Blair to the UK Government Creative Industries Task Force in 1997 and served as an advisor to Gordon Brown in his roles as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister from 2000 to 2010. While a Senior Fellow at M-RCBG, Eric will conduct work on data usage and data privacy with his project, Shaping the World’s Newest Human Right. His faculty advisor is Jim Waldo, Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard. Email: Ericsalama@hks.harvard.edu