Fernanda "Fefa" Romano isn't a typical agency creative director. It's not just that she's female, only 32 years old and comes from Brazil. She started on the business side, running several internet companies in Sao Paulo and hated the job she held briefly at an ad agency as an account supervisor ("I'm disorganized and a horrible follower-upper," she says).
|Fernanda Romano, executive creative director, New York, Lowe Worldwide||Photo: Rofa Suto|
Increasingly drawn to content creation in her internet jobs, Ms. Romano was coaxed into joining top Sao Paulo creative agency DM9 DDB, which won nine Lions and Agency of the Year at the Cannes ad festival. She ended up as head of interactive and nontraditional media.
Now Lowe Worldwide's executive creative director in New York, Ms. Romano has helped to repair and cement Lowe's relationship in the U.S. with at least one key marketer, Unilever. She brings to a much broader creative role a digital expertise that's still rare but increasingly sought after in creative directors.
"She's emotionally intelligent and helps build bold ideas even if they seem risky to us," says Christopher Luxton, Unilever's regional category VP for deodorants and grooming, North America. "She's got a great global mind-set, critical for creating world-class work that can travel around the world. She's very channel-literate. She makes awesome TV advertising but understands which channels are appropriate for which job. That's a big, big thing."
Next up, Ms. Romano is moving into a more international role as creative director of Lowe Latina, or Lola, the new Madrid-based agency that will do international work and expand to other Spanish-speaking markets. At Lola, Ms. Romano can further develop her strong relationship with Unilever, already one of Lola's main clients, and help the fledgling network win new business.