Five Questions With the Ad Council's New CEO

Lisa Sherman Hopes to Harness Mobile, Social

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New Ad Council president and CEO Lisa Sherman
New Ad Council president and CEO Lisa Sherman

After 15 years, one of the adland's most public-facing organizations will be helmed by a new leader: Lisa Sherman, who will succeed Peggy Conlon as president-CEO of the Ad Council. Ms. Sherman, former general manager of LogoTV, will be the group's fifth CEO, succeeding the retiring Peggy Conlon.

"I'm thrilled for the opportunity," Ms. Sherman said. "I only hope to perpetuate the good Peggy and her team carried out."

Ms. Sherman, who served as a VP at Hill Holiday before moving on to LogoTV, has extensive experience with nonprofits. She is a board vice-chair of God's Love We Deliver, an East Coast-based meals-on-wheels program, and she is also a corporate adviser to the Greater New York initiative.

She starts at the Ad Council on Nov. 3, and Ad Age spoke with her about how her background will inform how she tackles her new job.

What made you want to take this job?
When you can combine your personal passions with your professional experience, that's a rare opportunity.

You have a long history of working on brands that do a lot of public service. How do you see that background helping you make an impact at the Ad Council?
I've always focused on trying to do well and do good at the same time over the course of my career. The good news is that Peggy has been an incredible leader. She and the team are handing over an organization that's in really good shape. I see the opportunity to build on a strong foundation of work. To have very strong financials and a great body of work like that is very exciting.

What are some of your favorite Ad Council campaigns?
I grew up at the point of not letting friends drive drunk. It's hard to believe how that's become such a part of our lexicon, but that campaign had such a significant impact on me personally. And also the autism campaigns because I have some contact with that personally. Seeing the way they've been able to move the needle on that, and people contacting their doctors for early detection means so much to me.

Are there particular causes or approaches to this kind of work that are of interest to you?
I think that the over 40 campaigns that the ad council's involved with are things I want to get involved with in any way I can. There's quite a strong group of people and experts who are looking at what the next, most important causes in society are, and I think we'll let them identify them.

We're living in a moment when cause-related campaigns can move so far, so fast. Will you make a push to create content that's built for the social web?
The ad council has been a leader in a number of different ways, and that's an area we want to move as well. If we can harness social and mobile, I think the work we do can be even powerful.

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