The American Association of Advertising Agencies – the 4A’s – has named Marla Kaplowitz the organization’s new president and chief executive officer.
The trade association that represents the advertising agency business named Kaplowitz, CEO of MEC North America, unanimously by a 10-person selection committee comprised of 4A’s board members and let by 4A’s board chair Bill Koenigsberg.
Kaplowitz, who has also worked at Ammirati Puris Lintas and DMB&B, was chosen for her deep experience at media and creative agencies, her stellar track record for innovation and leadership, and her unrivaled commitment to advancing the industry, according to a release by the 4A’s. She takes over for Nancy Hill, who is stepping down after nearly a decade.
“As president and CEO for nearly nine years, Nancy Hill primed the 4A’s for transformative growth. Now, with Marla at the helm, our evolution will be significantly accelerated at a time when our industry is moving at lightning speed,” said Koenigsberg, president, CEO and founder of Horizon Media. “Marla is a dynamic force for change; she is an innovator and truly understands our top priorities for the coming years.”
In 2011, Kaplowitz was named CEO of MEC North America, where she was tasked with the development and execution of the agency’s strategic growth initiatives, maintaining oversight of North American operations. She built an integrated digital and data offering and a unique client-centric partnership model. Under her leadership, MEC North America grew in both size and scope.
Before joining MEC, Kaplowitz spent 12 years at MediaVest, where she led the Procter & Gamble communications planning assignment for North America and earlier managed a multi-client team that included Avon, Denny’s, Heineken and Norelco. Kaplowitz began her career at DMB&B, working across clients including Burger King, Merck and Procter & Gamble, before moving to Ammirati Puris Lintas, where she oversaw the Labatt, Nickelodeon Networks and Unilever businesses. She is a member of the 4A’s Media Leadership Council and She Runs It (formerly Advertising Women of New York) and was recognized by Advertising Age as a Woman to Watch in 2012. She brings more than 29 years of media and communications experience to her position.
“As a passionate member of this industry for nearly 30 years, I’m thrilled to join the 4A’s at this exciting and pivotal time for marketing and communications,” said Kaplowitz. “I look forward to working with the team at the 4A’s, including the board, as well as partnering with industry leaders to ensure a thriving future.”
Kaplowitz will be filling the role following Hill’s departure in June. Since 2008, Hill has guided the transformation of the 4A’s into a more dynamic and relevant provider of leadership, advocacy and guidance for the advertising community, according to the release. She has been directly responsible for the association’s work on issues such as patent trolling, online privacy, talent development and media buying guidelines, as well as her personal passions of diversity and gender equality.
Hill is a veteran of advertising agencies across the country including Doner, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Goldberg Moser O’Neill (which merged with Hill Holliday in 2000) and BBDO. After her departure from the 4A’s, Hill will focus on consulting and will spend more time in Ecuador, where she volunteers and teaches.
“The past nine years have been an incredible experience. I’ve been proud to represent and lead the industry I love through such a transformative time and advocate for issues such as transparency and diversity within advertising,” said Hill in the release. “I have known Marla for a long time, and her passion is evident and infectious, which is critical to doing this job well. I think leading this organization will come naturally to her.”
Kaplowitz will attend the 4A’s Transformation conference in Los Angeles this April (The Drum is a media partner); her official start date is yet to be finalized.