Little Black Book: Meet Helen Lin and Jack Bamberger, the New Chair and Vice Chair of the American Advertising Federation
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Little Black Book: Meet Helen Lin and Jack Bamberger, the New Chair and Vice Chair of the American Advertising Federation

LBB speaks with the chief digital officer at Publicis Groupe and the global chief revenue officer at Captify about their new roles with the AAF and their primary focuses for the year ahead

Assuming their new roles this month for the ‘23-’24 year, Helen Lin and Jack Bamberger have been appointed as board chair and vice chair, respectively, of the American Advertising Federation (AAF). Helen is the chief digital officer at Publicis Groupe and was most recently the vice chair of the AAF, and Jack is the global chief revenue officer at Captify and will become board chair after first serving a year as vice.

An ADCOLOR Legend and a Changing the Game honoree, Helen has been a force for bringing talent to the industry and retaining people through training and opportunity mapping. Jack brings with him 25 years of digital marketing experience, forging partnerships across platforms, technology and enterprise solutions, and serving on boards for the Ad Council, Interactive Advertising Bureau and Effies Worldwide.

Speaking with LBB, they discuss what areas they will be paying close attention to during the next 12 months, the local and national impact of the AAF, and how they hope to build a framework that can shape the future of advertising.


LBB> What do you see as your primary areas of focus in the coming year?

Helen> My primary areas of focus will be 1) Continued education for our members, 2) Ongoing industry influence across standards and regulation, and 3) Doing my best to uphold the work that AAF Mosaic and leaders like Tiffany R. Warren have chartered on inclusivity and equity. The AAF has such a rich history of work in the DE&I space when it comes to advertising and its efforts have been both groundbreaking and essential. On the topic of education, I will work with the team to organise the necessary resources and know-how from the world’s greatest media and advertising companies to empower all generations of industry practitioners to possess the emerging skills needed to be successful both today and tomorrow.

Jack> Over the next year, the voice and impact of the local and national AAF communities will be hugely important to the advertising industry. Topics like data privacy and increased regulation will be debated and advanced; AI and automation will present both opportunities and challenges to the industry and consumers; trust in advertising and media will continue to be challenged by consumers; and much more. As an outcome of these realities, bringing more companies and voices to the AAF community – advertisers, agencies, media companies, suppliers and more – is vital to the advancement and protection of the next chapter of the industry. This is given to the impact the advertising industry has in fueling consumer demand, economic growth, job creation, innovation, improving society and more.

LBB> Why does the AAF remain important and how does it differ from other industry associations such as the ANA, 4As or IAB?

Helen> On its surface, the AAF is unique in the fact that it is not tied to just agencies or marketers. It is an organisation that has strong support across the industry and holds an important voice across some of the most pressing issues by including publishers, tech partners and trade press. In my opinion, much of its success and differentiation is a result of its grassroots operating model – inclusive of college and local chapters, 15 distinct districts and representation from over 35,000 members supporting its mission and initiatives.

Jack> Since its inception nearly 120 years ago, the AAF has been the local and national unifying voice for the entire advertising industry – truly representing all parts of the advertising ecosystem. At its core, the mission of the AAF is to protect and promote the well-being of advertising through its unique and nationally coordinated grassroots network of brands, media companies, local advertising clubs and college chapters – representing nearly 35,000 advertising industry professionals. No industry organisation within the advertising community has a local and national impact like the AAF.

LBB> Why did you agree to take on these new roles?

Helen> I’ve been in the advertising and digital marketing industry for 28 years and it’s been rewarding and exhilarating at nearly every stage of my career. Most of what’s kept things interesting for me is that the innovation and learning never cease, and I want that for others. The influence this group has on people and the ad business overall is tremendous. The AAF is an organisation that brings in all parts of an industry and is best suited to deliver the necessary training and ongoing upskilling needed from students, practitioners, management and leadership all the way through retirement.

Jack> The AAF has had a profound impact on my entire career – starting as a college student when I competed in the AAF National Student Advertising Competition decades ago, through being asked to join the AAF board of directors six years ago. The ability for me to play a role in shaping the next chapter of the advertising industry with the incredible AAF staff and board gives me incredible joy, satisfaction and purpose to meaningfully give back to an industry that has been so generous to me.

LBB> What do you see as the most pressing challenges facing the industry?

Helen> An age-old challenge that all industries face – especially ours – is getting so absorbed by the newest objects and topics that we don’t finish the work establishing critical and foundational frameworks necessary for those innovations to thrive in a sustainable, safe and productive way. Some examples of this in our industry include open measurement, privacy and consumer value exchange, content moderation and more. This group plays such an important role in aligning the industry and building the framework and foundation for the future industry to thrive.

Jack> There are many pressing challenges – as well as opportunities – facing the advertising industry right now, ranging from privacy and data rights to ad targeting and personalisation, AI and automation as emerging technologies/platforms, further diversifying the advertising industry through impactful DE&I programmes, and much more. I’m excited to lend my voice and perspective to these topics – and more – as we shape the future of the advertising industry for today and tomorrow.

LBB> Tell us something about yourself that readers may not know!

Helen> I’m strongly an INTJ [personality type], according to Myers-Briggs. Introversion is my center of gravity where I’m most comfortable on my own. Other qualities are likely less surprising: Intuitive (abstract), thinking (objective) and judging (planner type, happy once a decision has been made and we can begin acting on it). That temperament is often described as ‘The Architect’. While my natural tendency is to work things out on my own, there’s just too much to accomplish that requires collaboration to indulge in safe spaces. So, I push myself hard to keep the energy going. That doesn’t actually come easily for me, contrary to what I think is popular belief.

Jack> For many years, I have described myself as someone who loves ‘solving puzzles’ – and the advertising industry today certainly has many vital puzzles which need solving across many topics to ensure it continues to thrive and meaningfully contribute to the betterment of our society. I’m also someone who loves ‘building bridges’ across people and communities around a common purpose – and I’m excited to leverage two of my superpowers for good on behalf of the AAF!

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