Behind every iconic character in advertising history, there’s an account leader who has helped elevate the character to the level of a common cultural reference. In the case of the charmingly upbeat Flo, a salesperson for Progressive Insurance, that account person is Vallerie “Val” Bettini, chief client officer at Arnold.
Bettini has handled the Progressive account since the insurance company first signed on with Arnold in 2008. In the dozen years of the partnership, Bettini and her team have overseen 100 different productions and Flo was named the No. 1 brand icon of all time by Entertainment Weekly. Bettini and Flo are undoubtedly responsible in part for Progressive’s annual double-digit growth over the last seven years.
Progressive is not shy about its enthusiasm for Bettini. “She possesses mad skills in strategy, creative, operations, recruiting and a passion for building trust and respect across organizations,” says Bruce Perlman, Progressive’s integrated marketing business leader. “Val is the G.O.A.T. of account people. Val can be in my foxhole any time.”
Bettini’s work extends beyond one account and one icon, however. As chief client officer for Arnold (Bettini was promoted to the position in February 2020), she has been instrumental in a number of recent additions to the agency’s list of clients: home services brand HomeServe, search engine DuckDuckGo and Helen of Troy’s Health and Home brands (Braun Thermometers, Honeywell air purifiers, PUR water filters and Vicks humidifiers). At the same time, she has been able to retain 100% of Arnold’s existing clients throughout the pandemic.