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L'Oréal’s Shenan Reed On Advertising as a Service

June 29, 2021

By Bill Duggan


Shenan Reed, Senior Vice President, Head of Media at L'Oréal, recently spoke at the ANA Media Conference on the power of advertising to be a service to the customer. To follow up on her presentation, group EVP Bill Duggan sat down with Reed for an interview.


Q. In your view from the perspective of a marketer, what are some of the most pressing issues in media today?

There are three big topics that are top of mind for marketers today. First is consumer privacy. We must respect the consumer's desire to keep their data secure and have control over its usage. Next is inclusivity in advertising and sourcing. We know that the media industry has faced scrutiny for not showing enough positive representation and diversity in advertising and we all recognize a need for an increase in spend with diverse owners. Finally, there's the future of measurement in a privacy safe world — how will we ensure that we are being efficient and effective with our media spend in a future where our key tracking mechanisms are being deprecated?


Q. What's new in media that has you excited (again, from the perspective of a marketer)?

I'm excited about a "cookieless" world. The rise of consumer privacy is an invitation to the industry to re-engage with the art of media planning. It's a reminder that we need to build experiences and to ween ourselves off the "measure everything" wave we've been riding.


Q. Your session at the ANA Media Conference was about advertising being a service to the consumer. What do you mean by that?

Studies reveal that consumers mostly dislike advertising. They don't trust that their data is always being used for good, and they continue to turn a blind eye to it. As a result, media tactics have gotten more aggressive in following consumers around, interrupting experiences for exposure, and in general behaving rudely. My hope is to spark a conversation around turning what feels like the doom and gloom of losing consumer tracking into a positive about how we can get back to the art of advertising and media planning, and challenge that advertising, when done well, is a service to the consumer.


Q. With the transition away from cookies, first-party data will be more valuable than ever. How are you feeling about L'Oréal's place in the "post-cookies" world?

I feel very good about our post-cookies world. L'Oréal USA has spent years creating engaging consumer experiences on both our direct-to-consumer and non- direct-to-consumer sites, and we continue to roll out new services for our consumers regularly. We believe that we need to give them a reason to want to engage with us and that having a first-party relationship with a consumer is a privilege that should not be taken lightly.


Q. What has changed most for you in your role as Senior Vice President, Head of Media over the past year?

The pandemic along with privacy concerns have fundamentally changed consumer behavior. In the last year, we have seen the rise of retailer media, advancements in consumer privacy, growth in e-commerce, and a surge in new social partners. Never has there been more importance in putting the consumer at the center of what we do and how we engage. As a head of media, I'm not just negotiating great joint business partnerships with media, but really helping the business fulfill the promise of delivering amazing consumer experiences using media, data, and creativity.

Thanks to MediaVillage for originally posting this blog.

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