ANA Launches CMO Masters Circle for Unified Marketing Leadership


ANA Masters Circle CMOs

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) convening in Florida announced the new ANA Masters Circle, a call to CMOs to come together in unified leadership to address challenges in transforming the marketing industry.

Introduced by ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice in opening remarks to 2,700 attendees at the organization’s annual Masters of Marketing Conference, he implored CMOs to establish new parameters of leadership to “take back the industry.”

“Marketers command the marketing decision-making process, but they’re not engaged or leading the industry’s agenda,” Liodice said. “It’s abundantly clear that marketers must take their industry back. CMOs can no longer let others do the heavy lifting. If they want something, they have to lead the way.”

The challenges include talent supply, privacy, ad fraud, ad blocking, viewability and transparency, which Liodice said have rendered the industry “unproductive, unsustainable, and undesirable.”

The ANA’s Masters Circle has four primary objectives:

  • Lead the way in an industry-wide call for a strong, transparent, and highly productive media supply chain that is free from fraud, is highly viewable, can be measured and accredited, and has data and analytics at its core. The Masters Circle also must become immersed and take leadership roles in industry programs such as the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS), and similar groups to ensure that media is measurable and accredited by neutral third parties.
  • Passionately advance and promote responsible marketing by focusing on issues such as gender equality, multicultural marketing and diversity, and all aspects of social responsibility, especially efforts designed to protect the well-being of children such as The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

ANA Masters Circle CMOs

  • Serve as fervent advocates on behalf of all constituents in the media and marketing supply chains by leading and supporting all efforts to advance, protect, and defend our industry. Specifically, the Masters Circle should provide leadership to the Digital Advertising Alliance and the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, and support organizations that push back against overreach from the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission.
  • Strive to develop a high-caliber, digitally savvy, and diverse talent base through the continued support of the ANA’s Educational Foundation and other like-minded organizations to ensure that university students are encouraged to consider careers in advertising and marketing. At the same time, the Masters Circle should urge all CMOs to aggressively upgrade the training and development of their own staffs, particularly in the area of digital communications and technological advancements.

Liodice’s call to action: “We are on the right track, but we need CMOs to turn up the leadership dial. We cannot leave this to others to do. We must get involved and take the action we need—to build our brands and drive our business results. When CMOs do that, everyone wins.”

Brand building is more than talking about your brand, added Liodice. “It’s about making deeper, emotional connections with your consumer in the most meaningful and enduring way. Marketers are beginning to rediscover their primary role, which is driving business growth. They’re stretching their brands in unique, creative, and imaginative ways to transform their relationships with consumers and customers.”

Liodice mentioned Valspar, Vaseline, Pepsi, Best Buy and Under Armour as examples of brands “opening up doors to reach our consumers and customers with engaging, immersive marketing. In all candor, I don’t think creativity has ever been better.”

Liodice said all CMOs are invited to join the ANA’s Masters Circle, whether or not they are ANA members.