The Mad Men era of advertising might be over, but sexual parity in the advertising industry has yet to be reached.Women make up only three per cent of creative directors, and they don’t match their male peers in the management ranks either.
For that reason, Business Insider Advertising decided to highlight the female movers and shakers in advertising. These are the CEOs, the chief creative officers, the creatives and the financial strategists that rule the global business known as Madison Avenue.
We selected these powerhouses based on nominations from our sources and readers, and our own extensive research. We weighted more heavily in favour of those women nominated by people who compete against them. The overall ranking is based on position, tenure, agency size, revenue growth, client access, and cultural impact on the ad world.
—With reporting by Christina Austin
Choi joined Cheil as a copywriter in 1984 and grew to be one of the most recognised creatives in Korean advertising.
Choi was appointed the first female executive in Samsung Group in 2000 and more recently filled the role of executive vice president. Her key client is Samsung.
Choi won a Direct Lion in Cannes 2012 for work that brought life to the often flat QR code trend. Choi was the mastermind behind an installation of 441 adjustable pillars with seven lengths that created the shadow of a QR code between noon and one p.m. that provided 25 per cent store discounts.
Keene was taught by one of the best. 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.
Keene jumped ship to Saatchi with her creative partner, Chris Adams, in 2011.
The Third Act is the unit of Digitas responsible for leading digital content strategy development for clients including American Express, MillerCoors, and Delta Air.
Sarofian launched the Digitas New Front, a digital content and online video marketplace, for brands, talent, distributors, and content creators. With almost 1,000 attendees, this year's event is responsible for the partnership of MillerCoors and Funny or Die. 2012 also marked the first year of the Digital Content NewFronts.
Sarofian was a director of photography and partner at The Image Bank NY before joining Digitas in 1994.
Courtin is known for her ability to get a compelling story to consumers.
Coming from a non-agency life at MTV and MySpace (not to mention her role as an associate producer on HBO's Big Love), Courtin now works with Carat, Isobar, Vizeum, Posterscope, and iProspect for Aegis.
Courtin is also one of the most prominent gay women working in the industry.
Mother's co-founder, Paul Malmstrom, said it best when naming Barocas partner last March:
'Tough like leather, warm like the Portuguese sun. Angie has just the right touch to steer this unruly organism where it both wants and needs to be.
Cookson has been at BBH for 18 years, moving from London to be a part of New York's then four-person management team in 1999.
Cookson currently oversees the strategic vision for accounts including AXE, Caseline, British Airways, UNICEF, and the World Gold Council. She is also heavily involved in mentoring at-risk youth in New York.
Au started as the sixth employee at Huge in 2004 and has since overseen its massive expansion to a full service digital agency with a 600 person staff.
Au's first account at Huge was redesigning JetBlue's website in 2005. She focused on allowing visitors to book flights and helped create a deals section to the site, explaining to the Advertising Week Social Club that 'what seemed like very novel ideas at the time set a new standard for airline sites and many of them followed suit afterward.'
Since then, she has led initiatives for clients including Disney, JetBlue, About.com, Kate Spade, and Fresh Direct. During her presidency, Au has seen revenue and employee growth rates of 50 to 100 per cent every year for the last five years.
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.
You've definitely seen Credle's work. Allstate's famous bad boy, Mayhem is a creation of Credly's. She has also worked for clients including McDonald's, Kellogg's, P&G, Sealy, and Invesco.
Capeci's mantra is: 'This is advertising; it should be fun.'
She leads some of JWT's biggest accounts: Energizer's Schick Edge Shave Gel, Litter Genie, and Macy's (which recently expanded 'Yes, Virginia' into a franchise complete with DVDs, books, toys, and a children's musical).
She's also still a firm believer in QR codes, which have been widely used for Macy's marketing campaigns.
Utzschneider spent 10 years at Microsoft prior to helming Amazon's national ad sales. Strategies at both companies were based on the tenant that good customer service is key.
Amazon crept into the digital advertising scene in June 2011, when the company announced it would use shopping and sales data of its now 180 million-plus active customer accounts for targeted, consumer-specific advertising.
personalised advertising on the Kindle along with company's online and mobile sites have made Amazon the sleeping giant of the digital ad industry.
Ntshingila has overseen award winning work for some of South Africa's biggest brands, including KFC, BP, Coca Cola, and Volkswagen.
Last year, she was appointed to Ogilvy & Mather's worldwide board as well.
Chairman emeritus Shelley Lazarus explained that 'Nunu is the fearless and charismatic leader of the South African business and she represents the future of Ogilvy.'
18. Katherine Wintsch, senior vice president and group planning director at The Martin Agency, founder of The mum Complex
In 2005, after only three years at The Martin Agency, Wintsch become the youngest person in the history of the shop to be named an officer at the company, and it has only been an upward climb since.
Wintsch has worked on brands including Walmart, Hanes, Vanilla Coke, NASCAR, and Miller beer. But she's also talented in acquiring new business. Upon being appointed to the pitch team, she assisted in the securing of multiple major accounts that gave an additional $63 million in annual revenue.
But motherhood also plays a prominent role in Wintsch's life. After having her second child in 2010, Wintsch launched a new division of the agency called The mum Complex.
Famous work includes rebranding Walmart in 2008 and assisting with the tagline: 'Save money. Live better.'
According to Walmart International Chief Marketing Officer Rick Bendel, 'Katherine's ability to bring a mother's life to life is unmatched ... In addition to delivering compelling content, Katherine's passion and positive energy is contagious. Katherine has a remarkable way of gathering a team around a mission and ensuring everyone is engaged.'
Paul has been a staple at BBDO, one of the largest agencies in the United States, for the last 30 years. She joined the agency in 1983 and took over as President and CEO of its Energy BBDO unit in 1996.
Energy BBDO handles clients including Wrigley, PepsiCo, Bayer, and SC Johnson.
She oversees the business as well as the company culture. 'I am most proud of our culture of what's possible thinking, high collaboration, and humanity,' she said on Energy BBDO's leadership page. 'All that said, we are a thriving work-in-progress with the best yet to come.'
Paul worked at Leo Burnett before coming to BBDO.
Getty is the youngest person to ever be named partner at Deutsch LA, and she played an instrumental role in landing some of the advertising powerhouse's biggest accounts, including PlayStation, Target, Anthem Blue Cross, and VW. (So you can thank her for 'The Force.')
Getty also ran a major study with the 4A's which looks at why and when talented people leave their agencies.
In the six years since starting at BBDO, Flanik grew the Mars account -- one of BBDO's largest -- by the double digits, increasing revenue from Mars by 75 per cent.
Flanik was a crucial player in winning back Snickers for BBDO. She has also added major global brands to BBDO's client list, including Dove, Pedigree, Twix and Whiskas. Two of her accounts also produced some of the best Super Bowl ads in the past three years, including Betty White's Snickers spot and launching M&M's Ms. Brown in 2012.
Coworkers also told us that she also serves as a mentor within the agency.
Kaplan started as a receptionist at Hill Holliday in 1982, but 30 years later she is president of the 12th largest advertising agency in the United States. She's next in line to be the CEO.
According to colleagues, Kaplan was 'instrumental in not only retaining but also growing the Bank of America business when the account went into review earlier this year. Hill Holliday now is lead creative agency for the account.' Other wins include CIGNA, PUMA, and Oxfam America.
She's also the second female to be chairman of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce in its 103 year history.
Senecal is one of the very few women to have her name on the door of an advertising agency.
According to Miles Nadal, CEO of KBS+P's corporate owner, MDC Partners, 'kbs+ consistently stands out as one of the most robust, dynamic and fully-integrated offerings available to marketers today, and that's in large part because Lori Senecal's name is on the door. In just three years as CEO, Lori has established an agency culture of invention and results-focused innovation that has ignited a renaissance in the way agencies do business. A true leader and visionary, her growing list of accomplishments makes her one of the most remarkable women in advertising today.
Erra began her career as an assistant at Saatchi & Saatchi and worked her way up to become one of the most powerful women in advertising.
Famous for her work for Danone, Evian, Air France, and McDonald's, Erra also founded French agency BETC. According to the Gunn Report, BETC became the second most creative agency in the world in only 15 years.
Her annual compensation is $1,730,741 a year, making Erra the only woman to make Business Insider's list of the richest people in advertising.
Diamond is a member of Y&R's executive board and responsible for three of the agency's iconic brands: Dell, Campbell Soup Company, and Xerox.
Since joining the agency in 1991, she transformed Xerox from 'The Copier Company' to 'The Document Company.'
Diamond's mentee Precious Simba will be awarded the 2012 Fortune and Goldman Sachs Global Woman Leader award.
Not only is Johnson the first new partner at GS&P in over a decade, but she's the agency's first-ever female partner.
Johnson started working at the San Francisco-based shop 16 years ago, and has worked on just about every account the agency has touched, including: SONIC, Häagen-Dazs, Logitech, Nintendo, specialised, hp, Foster Farms, and Budweiser. She's also won most advertising awards at this point.
On top of advertising, Johnson also produced and directed a short film called Dunkumentary, which was featured in the Short Film Corner at Cannes.
With 30 years at Wieden & Kennedy under her belt -- spending time in the shop's London, Amsterdam, and flagship Portland office -- Hoffman is responsible for game-changing creative work.
Even though Hoffman was working on Nike before its slogan was 'Just Do It,' she has managed to stay cutting edge throughout her career. Recent successes include one of the most popular campaigns of the last decade: Old Spice's man your man could smell like. (She created the campaign with fellow ECD Mark Fitzloff). She also worked on Chrysler's two last Super Bowl spots starring Clint Eastwood and Eminem.
Hoffman was also on Business Insider Advertising's list of the 25 most creative people in advertising.
With 25 years of advertising experience, El worked her way from the agency side (at The Martin Agency, US WEST, and Terabeam) to the client.
Under El, State Farm's 'Like a Good neighbour' slogan changed to 'Get to a Better State,' and its logo changed for the first time in more than half a century. El recently aired her frustrations with the lack of diversity in the business at an Advertising Week panel.
Luegers joined the Pandora team after spending time on the agency side at DraftFCB, OMD, and MediaEdge.
'Kim was directing mobile strategy at DraftFCB before mobile was cool,' one of her old colleagues told us.
Luegers is partially responsible for the company's $100 million-plus in mobile ad sales revenues.
Luegers was also named one Business Insider's most powerful women in mobile advertising.
Finucane has quite the job ahead of her: She has to rebrand Bank of America to regain consumers' trust.
But she has the resources to do it. Finucane is in charge of both BofA's $413 million media budget and $1.3 trillion over the next decade in what Ad Age characterises as 'the largest community development and investment goal ever established by a U.S. financial institution.'
How powerful is she? Just ask CEO Brian Moynihan, who told the Boston Globe, 'We all report to Anne.'
Sawyer has worked at Deutsch for 23 years -- helping the agency grow from 50 people to over 1000 -- and oversees Deutsch NY, Deutsch LA, Lowe Roche Toronto, and Lowe Healthcare.
Sawyer also helped increase Deutsch's revenue growth 30-fold.
In her down time, Sawyer sits on various boards and raises her two children.
Ever since its IPO, advertisers and clients can't stop talking about how to properly advertise on Facebook. Carolyn Everson is the woman with the answers.
Sheryl Sandberg poached Everson from her post at Microsoft to lead Facebook's marketing and ad sales endeavours, turning the social media network's now-billion users into massive revenue. Everson has grown Facebook's earnings and also recently gave clients the ability to buy 'sponsored stories' in Facebook's mobile app.
Everson also makes a concerted effort to maintain a healthy work-life balance. According to Ad Age, she insists that whenever she goes on a business trip for more than four days, her 9-year-old twins have to come too.
Everson was also named one Business Insider's most powerful women in mobile advertising, and one of its 50 sexiest ad execs in 2012.
Gianinno has been a U.S. adbiz powermonger for decades.
Gianinno currently oversees all of Publicis' U.S. operations, including Publicis, Publicis Modem & Dialog, and Publicis & Hal Riney.
Before then, She was chairman and president of D'Arcy Worldwide, CEO of JWT NY, an EVP at BBDO, and an EVP at Young & Rubicam.
As the head of one of the largest mobile ad networks in the world -- Google will take in perhaps $1.4 billion in mobile ad revenue this year -- it almost goes without saying that Haines is one of the most powerful women in advertising.
Since she began at Google in 2005, Haines has worked on numerous emerging products and platforms including leading the Google Display Network, the YouTube B2B marketing team, and being one of the founding members of Google TV's Ads team.
Before becoming a Googler, Haines was the VP of brand development for women's wear at Tommy Hilfiger.
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.
Earlier this year, Kelley also helped UM adopt the pay-for-performance compensation model.
With more than 40 years in the industry, Shelly Lazarus is an advertising legend.
Lazarus recently explained at Advertising Week that she enrolled in business school in the 1960s in the hope that having an MBA would preclude her from a job as a typist.
She has served variously as general manager of Ogilvy & Mather Direct, president of Ogilvy New York, president of Ogilvy North America, and, by 1995, became chief operating officer/president of Ogilvy Worldwide. She then became global CEO, and a year later, chairman. Lazarus is one of a dwindling number of a generation of greats at Ogilvy who actually knew David Ogilvy personally.
She is also one of very few female Ogilvy executives (perhaps the only one) to have received a haircut from Emil Vaessen, the in-house men's barber whom David Ogilvy recruited in the 1960s. (Vaessen told us years ago that he touched up Lazarus' hair exactly once.)
In May, Lazarus stepped down as chairman to become chairman emeritus. Had she stayed in the post she would undoubtedly be our No.1 pick.
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