Eileen Kiernan: Early in Her Journey, But at the Front of the Train (VIDEO)

By Legends & Leaders Archives
Cover image for  article: Eileen Kiernan: Early in Her Journey, But at the Front of the Train (VIDEO)

The Global Chief Executive Officer of media agency UM Eileen Kiernan believes that advertising can change the world. "Who woulda thunk it?" she says at the end of our 30-minute Legends & Leaders conversation, which every practitioner and student of advertising and media needs to watch. Following are condensed examples of the wisdom that has led Eileen to the senior leadership of the ad business.  (You can view our entire conversation in the video above.)

"When I think about the future ahead, this is what I think about. Talent is the most important thing on my mind. I believe that consumers, especially generations to come, will hold us all collectively accountable for the values that we support as businesses and how we show up in the world. As an agency, it's not just ourselves as an independent body; it's also the way in which we take our clients on journeys and how we spend the collective billions of dollars that we represent. At the end of the day, dollars speak, and if we want to see change in the world, we have to think differently about how we use those dollars to make that change."

Eileen's powerful yet quiet and thoughtful leadership shines throughout our conversation, which covers talent retention, investing in Black and minority owned media, the changing role of ROI in media buying, agencies' opportunity to impact on issues ranging from fake news to climate change, the impact of automation, building and nurturing relationships, and "UM's commitment to helping clients futureproof their business by balancing profit and purpose and creating culturally relevant experiences that build enduring brands."

Share the conversation with Eileen and view all Jack Myers' MediaVillage Legends & Leaders conversations at LegendsLeaders.org.


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