Incoming 4A's CEO Marla Kaplowitz promises to 'repair' relations with ANA

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Taking over from Nancy Hill next month, Kaplowitz says she will focus on listening to members.

On May 8, Marla Kaplowitz officially succeeds Nancy Hill as CEO of the 4A’s. But Kaplowitz is already sharing her plans for the organization’s future.

"The No. 1 priority for me is to ensure that we are delivering value for the membership," Kaplowitz said during a brief introduction at the 4A’s Transformation conference in Los Angeles on Monday.

Speaking to Bill Koenigsberg, president and CEO of Horizon Media and chairman of the 4A’s Board of Directors, Kaplowitz reiterated the need to focus on diversity in the industry and praised Hill for making progress on the issue.

Without going into detail, Kaplowitz stressed the importance of retaining talented people of color and lauded her current agency MEC for working exclusively this year with interns sourced through MAIP, the 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Program.

Her other priority will be "repairing relationships, making sure we have strong partnerships," Kaplowitz said. To that end, she will be speaking at the ANA’s Advertising Financial Management Conference at the end of May, in an effort to build better rapport with an organization that represents many of the ad industry’s clients. (She and ANA CEO Bob Liodice hugged during a lunch a few weeks ago, she joked.)

"We have a common interest, which is to grow our clients’ business," Koplowitz said. "I want it to be a partnership. It’s obviously become strained, it’s played out in the press quite heavily. There are going to be times where we disagree, but I think we need to focus in on the things where we agree," like measurement and third party verification.

Koenigsberg echoed the sentiment. "We want this to be one big family," he said, referring to the relationship between the 4A’s and the ANA.

Kaplowitz also promised to listen to membership to help her determine what changes the organization needs to make in order to do that, and alluded to an existing plan she will release at a later date.

And she included an incentive for members attending the conference to fill out their feedback forms: "I promise to read all your comments."