Rise of the Chief Media Officer

August 7, 2018

By Bill Duggan


Kudos to JPMorgan Chase for recently hiring its first-ever chief media officer, Andrew Knott — and to its CMO, Kristin Lemkau, who also serves on the ANA board of directors, for her vision.

Since the media transparency issue broke several years ago, the ANA has advocated that marketers need to take a more active role in the stewardship of their media investments. The report, Media Transparency: Prescriptions, Principles and Processes for Advertisers from ANA and Ebiquity made the following recommendation:

  • Advertisers should appoint a chief media officer (either in title or function) who should take responsibility for the internal media management and governance processes that deliver performance, media accountability, and transparency throughout the client/agency relationship. On the most fundamental level, the chief media officer should drive the media strategy, partner with external agencies, and work with third-party suppliers to optimize the media mix and maximize ROI. This executive would be the centralized internal resource to drive integration and share best practices across internal brand teams and external agencies. The chief media officer would be the internal subject matter expert on the many important and complex media issues confronting advertisers today. Digital media expertise should be a foundational skill for this position. Furthermore, it is recommended that the chief media officer develop relationships with key external media properties with whom the advertiser conducts business.

For most companies, media is often the largest marketing expenditure. Simply stated, advertisers should be responsible for assuming greater internal stewardship of their media investments. Advertisers need to "lean in" and be more active stewards of their media investments, rather than delegating that responsibility to their agencies. Advertisers should be jointly responsible for the stewardship of their media investments with their agencies. Advertisers who outsource their media management without active internal stewardship do so at their own risk.

Congrats to Andrew Knott and JPMorgan Chase! The ANA encourages more companies to follow suit.


Bill Duggan is a group EVP at the ANA.

Thanks to MediaVillage for publishing an earlier version of this perspective.


You must be logged in to submit a comment.