PerformanceIN catches up with PMA victors in the wake of the industry’s tenth annual award ceremony. Here we discuss the winner of Industry Ambassador, sponsored by Ve Interactive.

An exclusive for 2016 and the 10th Awards, the Industry Ambassador title was introduced to identify a highly-respected and influential figure in performance marketing, and one deemed worthy of representing the industry’s key values.

This was justly awarded to Steven Brown, a veteran of the performance industry having been chief executive of, leading the affiliate network’s growth from 2000 until its acquisition by AOL in 2008.

Brown has since become a passionate investor and board advisor to a number of leading companies in the sector, as well as helming Linkdex for two of its formative years. PerformanceIN caught up with Brown following the award giving, which you can watch below.


Steven’s career started as a scientific researcher following a degree and PhD in Physics at the universities of Bristol and Liverpool. He undertook a role as research physicist at a UK national laboratory before commencing a five-year stint at professional services giant KPMG, but it was in the early noughties that Steven really emerged as a key player in the performance marketing industry. was the affiliate network lauded for being one of industry’s early ‘disruptors’; always competitive on price, but without this affecting the quality of service.  

Steven served as COO and later CEO at before its £125 million purchase by AOL in 2008, and when Digital Window had the chance to snap up its former competitor in 2010, the company wasted little time in doing so.

The move to CEO

Departing soon after the AOL deal was struck in 2008, Steven acted as an advisor to a number of highly successful digital and performance marketing groups. The likes of Coull, UKWeb Media and Digitouch all benefited from his expertise up until 2011, when the full-time role of chief executive at Linkdex came calling.

The SEO platform came on leaps and bounds following Steven’s introduction, claiming $3 million in venture capital mere months after his two-and-half year tenure came to an end.

In recent years Steven has served as chairman at programmatic ad solution Admedo, an investor in before its purchase by Warner Music Group, also lending his expertise to money-saving platform CTRLio and even in the charity space, courtesy of involvement in easyfundraising.

Catch up on our Winners’ Stories so far.