MEDIA AGENCY EXECUTIVE OF THE DECADE

Irwin Gotlieb

MEDIA AGENCY EXECUTIVE OF THE DECADE

Alternately known as the “king of advertising” or the “Zen master” for the skills and influence he brings to bear on the media agency business, Irwin Gotlieb, CEO of WPP’s GroupM, has been a media innovator throughout his career, now spanning some four decades. In the mid-1970s, long before most people had PCs on their desks, he was writing software to project demand for TV ad time. Gotlieb also stood at the forefront of the agency unbundling movement in the ’90s when he was CEO of MediaVest Worldwide. The highly knowledgeable shutterbug (he’s been known to shoot the shooter during photo sessions) joined WPP in 1999 to run its flagship media agency Mindshare. Four years later he became the founding CEO of GroupM, WPP’s media agency unit that many other congloms have since emulated. Gotlieb is one of the tech-savviest executives in the business (he wired his own home so that he can control various gadgets remotely from his cell phone), and has been pushing the industry for years to adopt platforms to complete ad transactions electronically. His organization was a key advocate of making commercial ratings the TV currency. Though it isn’t perfect yet, Gotlieb likely won’t rest until it is. â€”Steve McClellan

MEDIA AGENCY EXECUTIVE OF THE DECADE

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