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Advertising Social Good

Ad Council appoints NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino as chair


By John Glenday, Reporter

January 6, 2021 | 4 min read

Linda Yaccarino, chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, has been confirmed as chair of the Ad Council’s board of directors.

Ad Council

Ad Council appoints NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino as chair

Succeeding David Fischer, Facebook's chief revenue officer, Yaccarino will serve until 30 June 2022.

What’s the deal

  • Yaccarino's role will oversee governance at the Ad Council with a remit to harness the power of communications as a tool to address social issues.

  • A busy in-tray will also contain measures to win broader industry support for the Ad Council's Covid-19 vaccine education effort as well as day to day management of business affairs and helming a charitable Public Service Award dinner.

  • Yaccarino is no stranger to the board, having joined in 2014, becoming a member of the executive committee in 2015 before working her way up to vice-chair.

  • If that wasn't enough, Yaccarino also takes responsibility for $10bn of revenue at NBCUniversal in her role as chairman of advertising and partnerships, with responsibilities extending to stewardship of digital platforms, distribution and client relationships.

  • Over the past nine years, Yaccarino has been credited with rebuilding NBCUniversal's advertising and partnership arm by unifying monetisation strategies as a single point of contact for all the media giants networks, properties and businesses.

  • In that time NBCUniversal has been a stalwart supporter of the Ad Council, donating significant media support to its campaigns and drafting custom public service advertisements such as Buzzed Driving Prevention, LGBT Acceptance and Covid-19 Response.

  • Yaccarino boasts further feathers in her cap as co-chair of the Ad Council's Crisis Response and Recovery. She is also chair of the World Economic Forum's task force on the future of work, sits on the board of Ascena Retail Group and is a member of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition.

Why it matters

  • Through its latest appointment, the Ad Council maintains continuity of its policy of rotating board chairs between the four pillars of its responsibility: media companies, technology platforms, agencies and advertisers.

  • The appointment also reinforces the Ad Council's commitment to social good, harnessing the best minds in the industry to benefit society through regular communication campaigns.

  • These include 'Fight for Freedom', a bid to promote awareness of systemic racism in America by shining a light on the freedoms taken for granted by non-blacks.

  • Over the summer the Ad Council also took the lead on combating antisocial behaviour against Asians with 'Fight the Virus', a response to attempts to label the Covid-19 pandemic as the 'Chinese virus'.

  • Both campaigns demonstrate the commitment of chief executive Lisa Sherman to deftly respond to hard-hitting issues at times of crisis.

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