Watch: how Mumsnet is a barometer for brands

Campaign talks to Mumsnet's founder and chief executive, Justine Roberts, about brand partnerships, the rise of content creators, and how the UK's biggest network for parents lets its community pick and choose who can advertise on its pages.

Fifteen years ago, Justine Roberts went on a disastrous family holiday which inspired her to create a website where parents could share advice and ideas – not only about holidays, but about everything parenting related. 

Now, with over 70 million page views and over 14 millions visits to the site per month, Mumsnet has become the UK’s biggest network for parents. 

The site’s motto ‘By parents, for parents,’ extends to the site’s community-led advertising policy.

Roberts explains: "Our advertising policy... has always been decided in conversation with our community. If they feel strongly that a brand doesn’t really sit with our philosophy – which is to make parent’s lives easier – then we won’t work with them."

A notable example is McDonald’s. Ten years ago, the Mumsnet community voted against allowing the fast-food chain’s advertising on the site. Seven years later, the brand’s messaging had changed, becoming more in line with Mumsnet’s, and the community subsequently voted in favour of McDonald’s presence on the pages. 

Roberts said: "I think we’re quite a good barometer for brands about how they’re doing and a good benchmark as to what people think about whether they’re making parent’s lives easier or not."

"If we think there are products out there that we’re not sure about whether they fit with our philosophy, we will literally ask our users."

Campaign spoke to Justine Roberts at the DigitasLBi UK NewFront event