OMMA Online AllStars: Sarah Fay

FTR-OMMA Online AllStars: Sarah FayCEO, Aegis Media North America

Fay's crowning as the head of Aegis Media North America is notable because the head of the digital unit was chosen to run the whole show, rather than the head of traditional media. She was a shoo-in, thanks to her ability to help clients navigate the shifting world of consumer media.
"Clients are hungry for knowledge, hungry for a perspective and recommendation about what the consumer will respond to," Fay says. She believes the media agency should play the central role in helping marketers understand who the audience is, what motivates them, and what the best context is for their messages, and then marry that to the creative side of the story.

Beginning in 2000, she was responsible for the vision, strategy and execution of the launch of Carat Interactive, the agency's first u.s. digital hub. Under her guidance, Carat Interactive (later Carat Fusion) acquire and integrated Vizium, Lot21, Freestyle, iProspect and Molecular, bulking up the agency's array of capabilities.

Carat had a hit in Reebok's "Run Easy" campaign. The agency created a "media architecture" in which TV, outdoor, mobile and print all drove consumers¨ to a digital social experience. An online campaign for Philip's Ambilight plasma TV technology used the medium itself to demonstrate the viewing experience in a way no other medium could. Carat's most recent win was Kohler Co.; Carat will provide consumer and trade media planning and buying services across all platforms in markets worldwide, including the Americas and EMEA.

Fay is a superb connector, and the web of business and personal relationships she weaves helps her stay on top of the big picture and the small stuff, too. "I usually do try to err on the side of being a bit more generous with my time than I should be. I tend to take those meetings and see what I learn - and I'm usually happy I did."

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