Promotional feature
David Agency

Meet the 40 Over 40 honoree: The David Agency's Fernando Musa

Meet the 40 Over 40 honoree: The David Agency's Fernando Musa

The founder and CEO proselytizes the value of a great idea and acknowledges his "brutally honest and transparent" leadership style.

What does it mean to be a Campaign US 40 Over 40 honoree?

It's an honor that reminds us of all of our responsibility to keep building our industry around the right values and propositions and our responsibility to all people that are part of it, to keep writing the future in a better way.

Why is it important to have the Campaign US 40 over 40?

Any recognition of good work, of good impact, works to inspire more people to do their best and reinforces the belief that it is possible to do and make. [It’s an] inspiration and example to those who are coming are always great and an important value to keep nurturing future leaders.

What is the best professional advice you've ever received? And what advice do you give future over 40 Over 40 honorees?

Something that I got from Shelly Lazarus. I entered her office at the agency asking if she knew about the idea of launching DAVID — like 11 years ago — she said: “It's a beautiful idea, but the best thing is to know that the reality of doing it could be different from what [you’ve] planned and be open to it, live the real thing as it's going to be.”My advice: We don't have control of anything, only the choices we can make. Every day, live the journey without trying to control it. Everyone will face and build their own path.

Sum up your leadership style in five words.  

Brutally honest and transparent, real.

Who has inspired and influenced you most to get where you are today? 

I can't mention any individual. People who believe that creativity is our main asset to keep going, solving problems inspires me every day, everywhere.

What are you most passionate about changing in the ad industry?

I want to keep reminding us that, besides all the changes, there’s one thing the we all need to value most: an idea. It doesn’t matter how, where, from, who, etc. We might have to change everything, but the only thing we cannot change is the ability to deliver and bring great ideas into everything we do. 

What’s one quality all creatives should have?  

David Ogilvy once said: “We have a divine discontent with our performance. It is an antidote to smugness.” This divine discontent, of always looking for the best, is something that makes all the difference and that I value in the advertising professional, be it creative or not.

How would your team describe you if we took them out for drinks?

I'm working on it but I think most will see me as someone who could be part of their family in a way — someone whom they know. They can see all my imperfections, but be able to feel my heart in everything we do together.

Where are you going to display your 40 Over 40 trophy?  

Is there a trophy? For sure on social media, and maybe I can make a tattoo of it? 

Start Your Free 30-Day Free Trial

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to, plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a subscriber


Don’t miss your daily fix of breaking news, latest work, advice and commentary.

register free