Meet The 20 Women Most Likely To Be Poached By Rival Ad Agencies

susan hoffman wieden & kennedy

Photo: Wieden & Kennedy

When we published our list of the 30 most powerful women in advertising, we also asked agencies and people in the marketing biz to tell us which women at competing shops they most admire or would love to hire, given a chance.

Click here to see who made the list>
From those confidential nominations, we’ve compiled this poach list of the most-wanted women in creative, management and account management.

Some of the names on our list are big-hitters who control major agencies, like Susan Gianinno, chairman and CEO of Publicis. How likely is it that she could be tempted to leave for another agency?

Well, consider that a select few big shops are looking to bolster their top talent. Earlier this month, we reported that DraftFCB CEO Laurence Boschetto is looking outside his agency for a new chief creative officer.

Furthermore, things have been in flux at McCann NY since Lori Senecal moved on to what’s now Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners in 2009. Thom Gruhler stepped into her shoes as McCann’s NY president for two years, before he exited to take on another role in the company. Colleagues told Ad Age he would be out by spring, which proved to be true when he moved on to Microsoft.

These women could fill any power vacuum.

20. Farrah Bostic, founder and creative strategist at The Difference Engine

Before starting her own company, Bostic worked at Digitas (as vp/group planning director), OTX, W&K, and Hall & Partners.

The Difference Engine is a mobile and web digital strategy and innovation company.

She has also been vocal about increasing women in the advertising industry. Her blog can be read here.

19. Colleen DeCourcy, CEO of Socialistic

Formerly the chief digital officer at TBWA, DeCourcy is currently the CEO of Socialistic, a company made up of content creators and technologists to deliver a 'social agency model to clients.'

More recently, however, DeCourcy made headlines for publishing a brutal confessional on of the advertising industry for Digiday, explaining the rampant sexism she faced earlier in her career. She now speaks regularly about fighting discrimination in the workplace.

18. Jen Neal, EVP of marketing for E! Entertainment

Neal comes from the agency side of things. She previously worked at PHD and was then CMO of BBDO NY.

Neal began working for E! as a consultant and she helped the network roll out a new logo and brand campaign. Neal was quickly hired and appointed EVP of marketing.

17. Linda Yaccarino, president of NBC Universal ad sales

Yaccarino moved from Turner Broadcasting to NBC Universal in 2011. She took over all of the network's ad sales last year.

Ad Age describes Yaccarino as a fearless leader. She wasn't afraid to find a silver lining when Conan's ratings were falling on TBS (his digital presence was through the roof!) and she wasn't afraid to annoy advertisers during the last upfront when she demanded significant price hikes.

16. Nancy Hill, president and CEO of 4As

Hill began serving as the first female CEO of the 4A's in 2008, but she has a strong agency resume as well.

Before the 4A's, Hill worked at Hill Holiday and was the EVP and managing director at BBDO NY.

Romano has lived and worked all around the world. Her last stint in her native Brazil was as a digital creative at DM9 DDB. She then worked at Lowe Worldwide in New York in 2006 before the shop transferred her to Spain. Romano switched to JWT in the U.K. in 2008 and then to Euro RSCG London as a global creative director.

Oh, and she also made BI's list of the 50 sexiest people in advertising.

14. Bekah Sirrine, creative director at 72andSunny

Don't judge Sirrine by her Twitter profile photo (see right).

Rival agencies nominated her for our poach list, describing her as an 'amazing creative director.'

Sirrine worked at CP+B and spent seven years at Wieden+Kennedy, New York, before joining 72andSunny. Some work from her Jordan XX2 campaign is on permanent display at MOMA.

13. Carol Watson, president and founder of Tangerine-Watson, Inc.

After working at Essence, the New York Times, and VIBE, Watson founded Tangerine-Watson,Inc.The company is a national executive search consulting firm based in New York City specialises in African American and Hispanic advertising and marketing talent.

Watson is on the Board of Directors of Advertising Women of New York and according to the shop that nominated her, she has been 'a trailblazer in the advertising and media fields for more than 15 years.'

12. Margaret Keene, executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi LA

In 1993, Keene joined Chiat/Day and served as Lee Clow's assistant and art director. Keene won her first award (there have been many since) on Apple's 'Think different' campaign.

But if agencies want to poach Keene, they better have room for one more. Keene jumped ship to Saatchi with her creative partner, Chris Adams, in 2011.

Keene was on BI's list of the most powerful women in advertising.

11. Amanda Richman, president of digital at MediaVest

Richman has 20 years of industry experience and leads Mediavest's 180-person digital team.

The shop has big name clients including Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and Walmart.

Having been recognised by OMMA, Ad Age, and Mediaweek, Richman has been noticed by competing firms as well.

10. Nikki Mendonca, president of OMD EMEA

Mendonca was named president of OMD EMEA in August 2007 after leading business development for OMD and PHD. She also worked at Capital Radio Pic and Leo Burnett.

OMD current runs communications strategy for McDonald's, PepsiCo, Renault/Nissan, and Vodafone.

9. Susan Credle, U.S. CCO at Leo Burnett

Credle made BI's most powerful women in advertising list, and it's no wonder why. Credle has done recognisable work for McDonald's, Kellogg's, P&G, Sealy, and Allstate -- you can thank her for the insurance company's famous bad boy spokesman, Mayhem.

Credle started covering the phones for receptionists on bathroom breaks at BBDO NY in 1985 and rose up the ranks to become executive creative director, where she worked on M&M's and Cingular Wireless.

She joined Leo Burnett in 2009 as a CCO.

8. Lori Senecal, chairman and CEO of Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners

7. Susan Hoffman, executive creative director at Wieden + Kennedy

Hoffman is part of the creative team that came up with the iconic 'man your man could smell like' campaign for Old Spice (with fellow ECD Mark Gitzloff). She also worked on Chrysler's two last Super Bowl spots starring Clint Eastwood and Eminem.

And if she gets sick of life at W&K -- she has been there for 30 years -- she won't have a hard time finding a new home.

Hoffman was also on Business Insider Advertising's list of the 25 most creative people in advertising and the most powerful women in advertising.

6. Anne Finucane, global strategy and marketing officer at Bank of America

In case the task of rebranding Bank of America proves too difficult, there are a slew of shops and companies that would love to poach Finucane. She's an alumna of Hill Holliday from the 1980s and '90s, so she has agency experience.

But BofA sounds like it wants to keep her around.

How powerful is she? Just ask CEO Brian Moynihan, who told the Boston Globe, 'We all report to Anne.'

Finucane was on BI's list of the most powerful women in advertising.

5. Lisa Donohue, CEO at Starcom USA

Donohue controls Starcom's $9.1 billion of annual billings and was named Adweek's Executive of the Year in 2011.

Before coming to Starcom in 2009, Donohue was president of MediaVest USA.

4. Linda Kaplan Thaler, chairman of Publicis Kaplan Thaler

Kaplan Thaler worked on some of the most recognisable advertising in America. She's the co-creator of the Aflac duck, did 'Kodak Moments' for Kodak, and was part of Toys 'R' Us' memorable 'I don't want to grow up, I'm a Toys 'R' Us kid' campaign.

She founded an agency that grew to a billion dollar entity: Kaplan Thaler merged with Publicis this summer.

Note: Kaplan Thaler was left off BI's most powerful women in advertising list, and in hindsight that was probably an error.

3. Susan Gianinno, chairman and CEO of Publicis

Any agency would want to scoop up Gianinno's talent and experience in the industry.

Before overseeing all of Publicis' U.S, she was chairman and president of D'Arcy Worldwide, CEO of JWT NY, an EVP at BBDO, and an EVP at Young & Rubicam.

Gianinno was on BI's most powerful women in advertising list.

2. Jacki Kelley, global CEO at Universal McCann

Earlier this month, BI named Kelley the most powerful woman in advertising ... so it's no wonder that rival agencies want her leading them. (Although good luck nabbing her!)

Kelley took the top job at media-buying giant Universal McCann in 2009 without agency-side experience. She previously worked at Martha Stewart Living, Yahoo, and USA Today.

In her first year, alone, she helped UM win business including BMW, Nationwide, Dyson, Chrysler, and the U.S. consolidation of MasterCard and L'Oreal. That totaled more than $1 billion dollars in spending.

1. Linda Sawyer, CEO North America of Deutsch

Sawyer made BI's list of the most powerful women in advertising. She was also the most-nominated person on our list. Sawyer could probably name her price at any large international agency network,

In her 23 years at Deutsch, Sawyer helped grow the agency from 50 to over 1,000 employees and helped increase Deutsch's revenue growth 30-fold.

She currently oversees Deutsch NY, Deutsch LA, Lowe Roche Toronto, and Lowe Healthcare.

Honorable Mention:

Some agencies said that they would like to poach female tech powerhouses Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg.

We're sure they do.

Good luck with that!

When we asked agencies to nominate additional females from rival agencies when they suggested their own people to make the list, we got some interesting responses.

Some compared it to 'the pastor's wife playing favourites,' and thus, their only suggestions could be Oprah and Tina Fey.

So, Tina, if you want to write copy for Tide To Go pens or McDonald's ...

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