Starcom MediaVest CEO, Laura Desmond, Named Chair of Ad Council


(ADOTAS) New York, July 7, 2014 – Laura Desmond, Global Chief Executive Officer of Starcom MediaVest Group, has been named Chair of the Board of Directors of the Advertising Council. She succeeds Debra L. Lee, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of BET Networks. David Kenny, Chief Executive Officer of The Weather Company, has been announced as Vice Chair of Media, joining Vice Chair of Advertisers, David Christopher, CMO of AT&T Mobility.

Ms. Desmond will be Board Chair through June 2015 when she will be succeeded by Mr. Christopher.

“We are thrilled to announce Laura’s leadership on our Board,” said Peggy Conlon, president & CEO of the Ad Council. “Laura is one of this country’s most respected leaders in the media and advertising communities, and her business acumen, marketing expertise and outstanding leadership will be instrumental to furthering our mission and the goals of our campaigns.”

With Ms. Desmond’s election, the Ad Council will continue its ongoing tradition of rotating Board Chairs every year between the organization’s founding sectors: media companies, advertising agencies and corporate advertisers. For a complete list of the Ad Council board see here.

Ms. Desmond joined the Ad Council Board in 2009 and joined its Executive Committee and became Vice Chair of the organization in 2012. Under Laura’s leadership, the Ad Council’s pro bono work with media agencies has increased significantly.

“I am honored for this opportunity to lead the Ad Council’s board,” says Desmond, “The Ad Council is an essential part of our media ecosystem. They are creating inspiring and educational content every day. I look forward to the many things that we will be able to accomplish together and the opportunity as Board Chair to work to enhance the Ad Council’s already well-established reach and influence in the ever changing media landscape.”

Desmond has served as Global CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group since 2008 and during that time has garnered significant new business from both new and existing clients, including Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Coca-Cola, Mars, Mondelez, Kellogg’s, Honda, Walmart and Kraft Foods. During her tenure, Starcom MediaVest Group has earned more honors for its work and talent than any other media network in the world, including over 525 creative, media and Agency of the Year distinctions in 2013 alone. In addition, SMG was named “Media Network of the Year” at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2014, “Network of the Year” by Festival of Media (2011, 2013, 2014), ranked No. 1 Global Media Agency by Advertising Age (2010, 2011, 2013), No. 1 agency for Global Overall Activity Billings by RECMA ( 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), and named a leader in the “New Interactive Landscape” by Forrester, making SMG the first media agency to receive this recognition.

The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here