Not in the Hollywood glitz and glamor way, but in a lifelong career working on the business side of the TV industry.
Mr. Cella, 49, exec VP-broadcast and programming for McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, was a key driving force in the recent $40 million to $50 million multi-client global upfront ad deal McCann struck with Turner Broadcasting Sales. The deal was significant for its move from simply buying time to partnering with a broadcast outlet.
It was a deal forged by a man with a significant background on the sales side of the business.
Prior to joining McCann in 1994, Mr. Cella spent 15 years at ABC in sales.
He worked his way up through the station ranks from his post as account exec at WXYZ-TV in Detroit to the network and eventually became VP-sports sales.
About five years ago, Mr. Cella was looking for a new challenge. McCann approached him about directing its national broadcast media.
DIDN'T KNOW AD AGENCIES
The consummate salesman says he didn't know much about advertising agencies, and he didn't know much about buying, but he did know TV and he did know the system.
"I never worked at an agency, which caused a little trepidation," Mr. Cella says. "But I thought it would be a great change and a great challenge and I knew I could always go back to sales."
That contingency plan was never necessary. He immediately assumed responsibility for Coca-Cola Co.'s broadcast media buying. Three years later, his duties were expanded to include national TV buying for nearly 40 McCann North America clients including Johnson & Johnson, L'Oreal, Nestle, Sprint Corp., Gateway and Microsoft Corp.
Having spent so many years selling, Mr. Cella brings an experienced-filled perspective to the media-buying side.
"I've learned a lot on this side. There are brand issues and brand budgets to deal with and many other things I never knew about. On the sales side, we always thought they could find the money somewhere," Mr. Cella says. "The