Agencies need to drive change in interconnected areas from media and data to technology and privacy, according to Marla Kaplowitz, president/CEO of the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies).

“We need to start driving change,” she explained as the 4A’s puts the finishing touches on the program for its Decisions 20/20 forum that begins early next week just outside of Washington, DC.

“Advertising agency leadership,” added Kaplowitz, “needs to understand where the imperatives are right now, with the intersection of media and data, as well as technology and privacy.

“These are the concerns that will shape our work and our lives for the next decade. That’s why we need this conversation here and now.”

Reflecting that emphasis, the two-day Decisions 20/20 program will offer attendees an agenda that heavies up on practical-reality issues such as trust, transparency, fraud, diversity, and cost.

The agenda also presents broad-based thought leadership to open both the Monday and Tuesday schedules, coupled with working sessions “to drive actions and outcomes”.

Among the targeted topics featured in the working sessions are brand safety, blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, voice technology, addressable media and measurement standards, as well as GDPR and related legislative initiatives.

The conference’s format, Kaplowitz explained, offers a diversity of learnings to an audience that, by its nature, comes to the 4A’s annual gathering from all over the country – and from a variety of business models.

“Depending on where they come from and what their individual focus is, we expect they should come away from Decisions 20/20 with an action plan – based on their particular interest – that will provide a way for their company to get involved,” she said.

It’s a results-driven program that Kaplowitz knows well. At the last national gathering of the 4A’s, she introduced the Advertising Protection Bureau, an industry-wide “code-of-decency” initiative focused on brand safety.

The seed for the program came from an assembly of fiercely competitive senior managers from leading media agencies. “You all compete, I get that,” she acknowledged, “but, on brand safety, we need to prioritise collaboration over competition.”

And it’s just that kind of commitment to shared standards that Kaplowitz expects Decisions 20/20 attendees to experience.

“Our goal is to have our people walk away knowing what they can do to help make a difference – to stop talking and to start driving the change we need to see,” she said.

Sourced from WARC