Special Report: Media Mavens 2012

Media Mavens: Amanda Richman, MediaVest

Publicis Shop's Digital President Was Force Behind Big Projects for Coke, Wheat Thins

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Amanda Richman
Amanda Richman

Résumé: Named president of digital in the U.S. in 2007, Ms. Richman last year added oversight for emerging markets, including India, China and Russia. She also has worked for MRM, Scient, Interpublic Group and Time Warner .

Challenge: Working to drive 50% of agency revenue from digital by 2014.

Quick fact: The staff she oversees is larger than the population of her hometown of Tower City, N.D.

Over the past decade, when a big brand did something innovative in digital, there was a good chance Amanda Richman's name was attached to it, whether it was Coke's "Social Bowl" or Steven Colbert tweeting about Wheat Thins. But while she spent the earlier part of her career convincing brands to think about digital, now she's teaching them to forget about it entirely.

"The era of defining and defending digital has drawn to a close," she said. "Now we focus on ideas and creativity married to technology."

If there's a theme in Ms. Richman's career it is to take the best of the new and merge it with what works of the old, converting insights from Publicis' Vivaki innovations group into real-world strategies for brands. Under her leadership, MediaVest was the first to create a "video upfront" where TV and digital buyers worked side by side, and drew from the same pool of media dollars. Today, 95% of MediaVest's clients are going everywhere consumers are, and that means video, mobile and social media, in addition to traditional old media.

Ms. Richman is among the first generation of ad execs to grow up in digital, but as a mentor she makes sure her young charges do stints in TV and print. Why? "Then they become marketers over just digital marketers."

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