Co-Chairs Named for ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference

By Bill Duggan

It's become a bit of a tradition for ANA to announce the chair(s) for our annual Advertising Financial Management Conference and I am delighted to now make that announcement for 2023. This year, we have cochairs and they are:

  • Katherine Freeley, global head media and digital of procurement at Novartis
  • Simona Rabsatt Butler, senior director global sourcing of media, events sponsorship at Visa

Both Katherine and Simona have been good friends of ANA for a long time.

We began to know Katherine during her tenure at Colgate-Palmolive where she worked for more than 12 years – after a successful stint on the agency-side. She has now been at Novartis for almost three years where she manages global paid media and digital ops in the U.S., Europe, China, APAC, and LATAM.

In that role she has executed global governance for managing media, digital, and creative agencies, established direct partnerships with media vendors to create incremental value, and led a global RFP and contract negotiations for the media and creative agencies. Several months ago, Katherine became co-chair of the ANA Advertising Financial Management Committee (with Sherry Ulsh).

Simona has also had a long relationship with ANA during her time at Walmart, Quicken Loans, and now Visa. At Visa, her responsibilities cover media, AdTech/MarTech, digital and events/sponsorship. Simona supports supplier diversity and co-runs their lead agencies' annual 360 evaluation and bi-annual bonus program execution. I credit Simona for being the spark that began our work on supplier diversity; she recognized the importance of that before it became trendy.

I find it interesting that Katherine and Simona are both focused on media procurement. It's a sign of the times! For years many marketing procurement professionals seemed to pay too much attention to agency fees. But media is where the action is — and represents 80 percent of advertising spend (versus 10 percent for agency fees and 10 percent for production).

And yet, media is fragmented and complicated. Media procurement helps optimize that 80 percent of ad spend and I believe that the role of media procurement will significantly grow in importance in the years to come. Katherine and Simona are ahead of that curve.

We are so delighted that Katherine and Simona will be co-chairing the 2023 ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference – April 30 to May 3, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.