UM has hired Joe DeMiero as its new US CEO, taking the reins from Lynn Lewis, who will move into the role of global chief marketing officer of IPG Mediabrands, the companies said Tuesday.
DeMiero is a nine-year Publicis Groupe vet, most recently serving as CEO of CRM and digital agency Hawkeye. He’s also worked at Saatchi & Saatchi and Razorfish.
He joins UM with a vision to double down on the agency’s global “Futureproof” positioning as well as its ongoing efforts to make media more purposeful, while pushing the agency toward a one-to-one marketing philosophy. He will report to Eileen Kiernan, global CEO of UM.
“Brands need a partner that can holistically help them solve the biggest challenges they face from a marketing and advertising standpoint, and more broadly, the relationship they have with each individual customer,” DeMiero told Campaign US. “UM brings together a lot of the capabilities and strengths that I believe brands are going to need.”
In particular, DeMiero was excited by the way UM brings together it’s talent with data capabilities, tools and tech partnerships, as well as commitment to a strong, purposeful culture, which he describes as being “part of the agency’s DNA.”
“It’s too rare in our industry that culture is prioritized in the ways UM prioritizes culture,” he said. “You see this in their commitment to talent and DE&I, and not just stopping at the water's edge of its internal organization.”
As for Lewis, who served as CEO of UM in the US for three years and has been within the McCann Worldgroup family since the mid-90s, moving into the global CMO role for Mediabrands is an exciting opportunity to amplify the story around purpose and culture to clients and prospective talent. Lewis will report to Daryl Lee, global CEO of Mediabrands.
“It has been our focus on and commitment to have media be a force of good in the world,” she said, citing initiatives like Mediabrands’ Equity Upfront and Media Responsibility Index. “What attracted me to the opportunity is making that possible at a global level.”
This year, Mediabrands will expand its focus to sustainability as well, beyond making pledges and looking more deeply at the opportunities for its own business and for clients.
The focus on purpose comes after a global pandemic and a societal reckoning in 2020 that continue to impact the business world at large, including among UM’s clients like Johnson & Johnson, CVS and USPS. For instance, in the past year, UM has helped CVS encourage people to get vaccinated at its locations and helped Johnson & Johnson in guide parents in having conversations with their children about the state of the world.
“This is not just about the way we feel,” Lewis said. “This is important to our clients.”
UM is doubling down on purposeful positioning also as a way to attract and retain talent among The Great Resignation.
“Great talent can find a great job that pays well anywhere,” DeMiero said. “To be associated with a company that is out to do good in the world through the work we do, and uplift and support that work among our clients, that is an all too rare aspect of the industry.”
Lewis added: “My role is to get people to know that when you come to UM, Mediabrands or any of our agency brands, you will be part of a community of care.”