Who’s In Charge? B&T Reveals The Best Of The Best Industry Association Chiefs!

Who’s In Charge? B&T Reveals The Best Of The Best Industry Association Chiefs!

In a fiercely competitive and talented industry the industry bodies bring a sense of unity and togetherness.

The heads of these bodies are the careful diplomats making sure that the industry successfully navigates the challenges in our way. This is why for this week’s B&T’s Best of the Best we are rightfully celebrating the advertising, marketing and media industry’s associations chiefs.

Last week, we looked at the Best of the Best independent creative agency leaders and two weeks ago, we named the Best of the Best holding company creative agency leaders. But there is still plenty more to come with

So who placed where? Well without further ado here are your Best of the Best Industry Association Chiefs:

10. Andrea Martens, CEO, ADMA

Martens has been at the helm of the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) for more than five years now and is a true pioneer when it comes to navigating a rapidly shifting market.

Known for her extensive experience in digital transformations, Martens’ prestigious CV includes roles as Unilever’s VP of marketing and Jurlique’s global chief brand officer.

A keen advocate of equality, Martens recently launched an initiative for IWD 2024 to honour and spotlight the dynamic women in the marketing sector across the country.

9. Bridget Fair, CEO, Free TV

There are few people who have fought harder for the rights of free-to-air TV than Bridget Fair. She has been a key advocate in defending FTA TV from streaming giants and isn’t afraid to speak out about decisions made by the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee about prominence and anti-siphoning laws.

Prior to joining Free TV in 2018, Fair held several senior media roles including group chief of corporate and regulatory affairs at Seven. She has also worked as a general counsel for SBS as well as a legal counsel for the ABC.

8. Elizabeth McIntyre, CEO, OMA

It has been just over a year now since Elizabeth McIntyre took over the lofty position of CEO of the Outdoor Media Association (OMA) and she has already had a significant impact on the Australian out-of-home (OOH) market.

OOH  revenues continue to climb and McIntyre has also overseen the introduction of the industry’s first OOH industry-wide automated insertion order tool, Oasis, as well as the small matter of MOVE 2.0.

Before joining OMA, McIntyre spent the past 12 years as group CEO for Think Brick Australia, Concrete Masonry Association of Australia and the Australian Roofing Tile Association, collectively.

7. Vanessa Lyons, CEO, ThinkNewsBrands

Print publishing is sadly often overlooked for newer, shinier mediums. But despite this challenge, Lyons has gone to great lengths to re-educate the industry about the power of news. She has spearheaded several highly valuable research initiatives looking into the impact of advertising through different mediums, she also regularly speaks at industry educational events.

Appointed CEO role in January 2021, Lyons brought over 20 years of marketing experience to the role. She previously held a range of senior marketing positions including general manager, marketing and customer experience at Wilson Parking, group head of marketing at insurance business AUB Group, and stints at both Telstra and Philips.

6. Tony Hale, CEO, ACA

Hale is a key leader in the industry and a well-respected driver of change. It is little wonder that he will soon be celebrating a decade as the CEO of the Advertising Council Australia (ACA). The ACA’s Create Space census, for instance, has led the way in shining a light on gender and other inequalities in the sector.

Hale’s hugely impressive career stretches over more than 30 years — previously he was a director at Clemenger BBDO (where he picked up several awards) and CEO at The Newspaper Works.

5. Sam Buchanan, CEO, IMAA

In his four-year tenure as CEO of the Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA), Buchanan has been a vociferous ambassador of the indies media agencies. Buchanan has expertly brought the agencies in the growing sector together, positioning them as the leaders in the market on everything from client relationships and results to employee value propositions.

As such, it’s no wonder that the IMAA is attracting new members as quickly as indies pop up. As well as growing his broad church, Buchanan has also improved the offering of the IMAA — the body recently added 44 new group deals for its members covering everything from IT solutions providers and cybersecurity systems to business insurance.

Buchanan had previously worked in executive roles for organisations including Fairfax Media (now Nine Publishing), Jetstar Media, News Corp Australia, Prime 7 and SCA, as well as a variety of media agencies.

4. Gai Le Roy, CEO, IAB

Le Roy has spent nearly eight years at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and is a well-known and very respected face in the industry. She has constantly steered the IAB in the right direction and is one of the first to acknowledge how big-picture themes such as AI and gambling ad bans will impact the digital advertising market.

Before joining the IAB, Le Roy had a stellar career in research and strategy. Her previous roles include chief operating officer at Gateway Research and general manager of insight and research at Fairfax Media.

3. Kim Portrate, CEO, ThinkTV

A famed straight-talker, Portrate is a highly adept community builder who unites leaders from across the industry for honest and very frank discussions. Something we all need now more than ever!

A talented public speaker, Portrate has been open and candid about her own career path and frequently invests her time and energy in helping the industry leaders of tomorrow.

Prior to being CEO of ThinkTV Australia, she was CMO of Helloworld and general manager of consumer marketing at Tourism Australia.

2. Sophie Madden, CEO, MFA

Under Madden’s leadership, the Media Federation of Australia (MFA) has consistently grown in importance and power. A highly experienced CEO, Madden knows how important it is keep moving and ensure the industry is always evolving.

Earlier this year the MFA expanded its foundation digital training course, MFA Digital Foundations, to all clients and professionals for non-member agencies and businesses. With a total of 1,700 participants in 2023 – 25 per cent of whom were marketers and media owners – the MFA e-learning program is one of the industry’s largest learning platforms.

The MFA holds the industry accountable through a number of surveys including the annual MFA Industry Census which takes a deep dive into the welfare of the talent working in the industry.

Madden has been CEO of the MFA for an impressive 11 years now. Before this, she was marketing services head at Kraft Food and global head of media at Vodafone in Dublin.

1. Josh Faulks, CEO, AANA

Now in his second year as chief of the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), Faulks shows no sign of slowing down. After taking the reigns of the AANA in October 2022 Faulks has transformed the organisation into one of the industry’s most vibrant and forward-looking communities.

The recent AANA RESET for Growth event in Sydney hosted an impressive roster of industry leaders both in Australia and globally, showing the calibre of talent that Faulks has been able to attract. The glittering speaker list included the brains behind some of last year’s most successful global advertising campaigns such as Barbie and the Matildas.

Prior to taking the hot seat at the AANA, Faulks has worked across government and as director at KPMG Australia.

But there is still plenty more to come. Speaking to B&T as part of our Fast 10 series, he said his highlight of 2023 was: “the reaction from our members and the impact we had on the industry from all the hard work the team put in across so many great initiatives and events. It is great to see we are making such a positive difference to the industry”.




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