Transparent Media Names Publicis Veteran Brandon Starkoff CEO

Agency's Founder, Andrew Swinand, Left in January to Join Leo Burnett as Chief Executive

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Transparent Media CEO Brandon Starkoff
Transparent Media CEO Brandon Starkoff Credit: Courtesy Brandon Starkoff

Transparent Media Partners has named Brandon Starkoff, a 16-year Publicis veteran, as its CEO and managing partner, effective April 3.

Andrew Swinand founded the independent marketing technology consulting shop last February to help clients "navigate the digital landscape" and "take back control of their data and have full knowledge of the costs," he previously told Ad Age. Mr. Swinand joined Leo Burnett to serve as North American CEO in January, leaving Transparent Media under Stephanie Ridley, partner in charge of client service at Transparent, and Bryan Simkins, partner in charge of technology.

Ms. Ridley and Mr. Simkins will report to Mr. Starkoff when he assumes his role as chief executive of the agency. Most recently, Mr. Starkoff was serving as the VP and head of industry at xAd.

Mr. Starkoff said he had been having ongoing conversations with Mr. Swinand, who he's known for years, about getting involved with Transparent Partners since the shop opened its doors. Mr. Swinand was the founder of Transparent, but did not hold the CEO title, making Mr. Starkoff the consultancy's first chief executive.

One of the reasons Mr. Starkoff decided to join Transparent media is because he said there are "massive opportunities to solve the challenges we all recognize regarding the importance of transparency in data and technology and being able to educate the industry on it."

This year, Mr. Starkoff hopes to bring more solutions to the table and create more standardization around marketing technologies and investments so brands understand how the dollars are flowing through their supply chains and processes. "It's about better aligning the data so brands can get smarter about who their customers are and reach them at points of relevance," he said.

Transparent Media also works with clients on "assessments," or audits. The agency recently formed a programmatic media partnership with digital consultancy CunninghamTech. Mr. Starkoff declined to disclose any of the agency's clients.

In addition to expanding its team this year, which currently includes 12 staffers, Mr. Starkoff said he wants to increase awareness of Transparent Media in the marketplace, specifically the fact that the shop provides clients with "an independent, neutral view."

Prior to xAd, Mr. Starkoff served as executive-VP and managing director of Publicis' Starcom MediaVest Group, where he spent most of his 16-year career. During his time there, he handled integrated media planning and buying for major brands and spearheaded digital and mobile transformation, which included testing emerging addressable and programmatic capabilities.

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