Nancy Hill, a former executive at Lowe Worldwide and BBDO, will be named the next president-CEO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, according to an executive familiar with the situation, pending the approval of the 4A's board. The appointment follows a long search for a successor to O. Burtch Drake, who has run the 91-year-old organization since 1994.
If approved, Hill will take on an important symbolic role at a challenging time for the ad business. Many of the 4A's member agencies born during the relatively straightforward TV-dominated era are now trying to make themselves over for a more complex, digital world. The largest ad agencies in particular are fending off challenges from smaller, nimble rivals as well as digital specialists.
In recent years, Madison Avenue has been criticized for not doing enough to foster diverse workplaces. Hill will also be dealing with those knotty issues, she'll have to continue the 4A's generally well-regarded lobbying operations. Hill's last post was as North American CEO of Lowe Worldwide.