Interview with Ashleigh Bishop, Co-CEO of Bagboard

We caught up with Ashleigh Bishop, co-CEO of Bagboard, to talk all things from incentivising consumers to support eco-conscious businesses, to unlocking £100M of previously untapped revenue for brands…

Tell us about Bagboard

Bagboard is a new, first-of-its-kind adtech and m-commerce platform for brands and people who want to use their purse-power to demand and drive sustainable change on a global scale.

We believe consumers should be empowered to support businesses that align with their values. And that’s why we created Bagboard.

Here’s how it works: We partner with top planet-friendly brands like Sky Ocean Rescue, Unilever, WWF and Loop, and feature their ad campaigns on reusable, eco-friendly paper bags called smart bags. Soon, they’ll replace single-use plastic ones in independent stores all over London.

Through the Bagboard reward app, we incentivise people to reuse their smart bags multiple times. Promoting that brand all over the city. As a reward, they earn a new digital currency called conscious coins which they can spend back on the socially-conscious brands that advertise with us on our in-app marketplace. The result? We empower consumers to use their collective spending power to change brand behaviour and support more socially responsible businesses.

But Bagboard empowers brands too. That’s because Bagboard provides them with detailed data trails of where their campaign has been and how many impressions they’ve generated, unlocking £100Ms of previously untapped revenue with every step consumers take.

the Bagboard reward app incentivises people with ‘conscious coins’

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Bagboard was founded by our CEO, Ben Ayres. Back in 2016, he was working as a banker in London when he noticed how many people were still using (mostly blank) plastic bags around the city, during the time that the single-use plastic problem was gaining momentum in the media.

And so he had the idea to replace single-use plastic bags in stores across London with eco-friendly paper ones, turning them into a new advertising real estate for brands who were having a positive impact on our planet.

That’s why Bagboard initially started as a new advertising platform that focused on engaging consumers with brands in a more empowering way. By tapping into the power of tech to give people more control over their needs, we set out to empower and incentivise consumer engagement with advertising. We used eco-friendly, reusable smart bags as a new media format that handed consumers the power of choice while helping to solve the single-use plastic bag crisis at the same time.

But as time went on, we realised that advertising spend is driven by consumer spend. Meaning we could shift the power dynamic in the advertising industry to empower consumers to demand more transparent information from brands. By unlocking the power of consumer engagement, we could actually work together to use our spending power to drive more socially responsible innovation. By giving consumers control over what information they engage with, it’s possible to flip the power dynamics in advertising completely, and empower consumers to drive brand behaviour, rather than the other way around.


How many eco-friendly companies has Bagboard helped spread the word about?

So far, we’re already working with big, household brands like Sky Ocean Rescue, Unilever, WWF and Loop. And we’ll be running our first campaigns with them, in London, over the next few weeks and months. And as we launch our platform in London, we’ll be approaching more responsible brands, big and small, who have already started on their journey to sustainability. There are so many brands doing a lot of really good work in this space and their ultimate goal is to reach conscious consumers who want to support them. Our platform will be connecting planet-positive brands with the conscious consumers who want to engage, promote and shop from businesses who share the same values that they do.

What can we hope to see from Bagboard in the future?

Following our recent crowdfunding success on Seedrs, we’re working hard to launch the Bagboard platform in London this year, before scaling to other cities as a global business.

Our mission is to become the go-to adtech platform for planet-friendly brands, as well as becoming the go-to app for sustainable shopping for consumers. And here’s how we’ll get there:

Grow our network

We’ll use 250k smart bags from our brand partners, such as Sky Ocean Rescue, Loop, WWF and an additional 10-25 brands to grow a network of 10k consumers by March 2021. We believe each consumer will be able to generate £254 in revenue annually, which will be unlocked from brands bidding in our auction-marketplace.

Build an auction-marketplace

We’ll build a data-driven marketplace to ensure brands and consumers can connect through auctions, similar to how Facebook and Google sell advertising.

Marketing scale-up through gamified missions

We’ll generate a marketing buzz around the launch around a gamified mission for London to offset one billion plastic bags by Oct 2021 thanks to our partnership with Plastic Bank.

Go global

We plan to expand the Bagboard platform globally, starting with the 9 major cities that have the highest advertising spend, consumer spend and distribution capacity, similar to London.

The growing demand for more responsible brands also presents an opportunity for revolutionary thinking and innovation, and by handing consumers a way to use their purse-power to vote for that revolution with their wallets, we believe we can drive real change.