Michael Lotito, a long-time Madison Avenue media chief who went on to found pioneering media auditing firm Media IQ long before “transparency” became the industry’s focal point, died Monday. He was 57.
“There will never be another like Mike Lotito. If there is a Mount Rushmore for the media services business, his face should be carved on it,” said David Verklin, a long-time friend and his partner for the past several years at VFL Ventures & Advisory. “ I will miss him so. So many will.”
Lotito began his career in media at McCann-Erickson and Benton & Bowles before becoming media director of Ammirati Puris Lintas and president of Interpublic’s Initiative Media North America.
Before leaving the agency business, Lotito served as CEO of Mediaport, a unique joint venture of the Big 3 agency holding companies -- Interpublic, Omnicom and WPP -- to centralize media-buying processing in a new, state-of-the-art management system.
Lotito went on to found Media IQ, leveraging his institutional knowledge about media planning and buying to create new age methods of auditing that went well beyond conventional “did you get what you paid for” metrics to understand how media schedules and delivery actually performed for marketers. He sold Media IQ to Pocurian, which ultimately became part of Accenture, and spent the past several years as a consultant, investor and advisor, forming VFL with Verklin and Steve Farella.
In 1995, Lotito was inducted into the American Advertising Federation's prestigious Hall of Achievement, an honor recognizing outstanding leaders in the communication industry under the age of 40.