It excites me that the industry include so many savvy and influential women.
One of the perks of being ‘the Co-Captainess’ of the Native Advertising Institute (NAI) is that I get to (e)meet and connect with so many amazing native advertising professionals from all over the world. Not only is the discipline on the rise, but so is the pool of talented professionals that we can look to for inspiration and guidance. This genuinely excites me. A lot.
It also excites me that the industry include so many savvy and influential women.
That excitement, combined with my general love for networking, has now resulted in a somewhat extensive list of 100 women who are raising the bar for native advertising.
Since today is International Women’s Day, it seems very appropriate to share this list of ‘badass’ women out into the digital stratosphere.
You may find names on the list that you already know, but I bet that you’ll also stumble upon new exceptional women that you ought to know and/or learn from.
I believe that the list could be as valuable and inspirational to you as it has been to me, whether you are looking to extend your native advertising network, find relevant people to follow on social media, or you are curating speakers for conferences with native advertising on the agenda
The ladies included on the list are all true, beacons of light. Some are accomplished and seasoned marketers, and some are rising stars. What they all have in common though is, that they collectively make the global native advertising industry sparkle.
You may find names on the list that you already know, but I bet that you’ll also stumble upon new exceptional women that you ought to know and/or learn from.
I hope you’ll see this list for what it is: a first draft of a most relevant industry list, with plenty of room to acknowledge more amazing female native advertising professionals for their work. If you would like to shine light on a top native advertising professional that also happens to be female, please reach out, drop a comment or tag that person.
Important Note: The list is sorted alphabetically (thanks to the a-z function in excel) and is NOT listed in any particular order that suggests rankings or seniority.
From the new to the known, these 100 women are all true pioneers.
Want to meet some of these amazing women?
Join us at Native Advertising DAYS in Berlin, November 6th-8th where we’ll present several significant women on stage: Fara Warner, Stephanie Losee, Melanie Deziel, Anna Arvidsson, Ricki Petrine and Mary Gail Pezzimenti.
Get your ticket now and read more here
Amisha Gandhi (USA) @AmishaGandhi
Amisha Gandhi is the Head of Influencer Marketing at SAP and previously led mobile product marketing and communications. In her current role, she created the global influencer marketing program and took it from pilot into a full-scale global function across SAP – with the purpose of driving influencer marketing across the entire customer journey from awareness, to demand-gen, to advocacy.
She’s worked in marketing and communications roles in Silicon Valley for the past 15 years with startups and large enterprises such as Citysearch.com/USANetworks, HP, Google, Accenture and Time-Warner. Amisha has a passion for sci-fi movies and tech gadgets and is always seeking out the next ‘big thing’ trend.
Amy Emmerich (USA) @Emmerschmidt
Is the CCO of Refinery29, the leading global media company focusing on entertaining, inspiring and empowering young women through great content. Here she leads Refinery29’s transition from a text-based publishing company to a multi-platform media company. Amy is a true inspiration when it comes to transformation and thinking out of the box — and no doubt she will be a gamechanger when it comes to creating content in formats that will ultimately change habits regarding how we consume content.
Ana Plisic (Croatia) @ana_plisic
Is the Editorial Director of Hanza Media’s Native Ad Studio. Ana spearheaded the launch of the studio back in 2015 and has build it to become an award-winning entity that produces native advertising for 39 print and digital platforms at Hanza Media. Ana won the award for ‘Native Advertising Marketer of the Year’ at the Native Advertising Awards in 2017.
Anda Gansca (USA) @agansca
Anda Gansca is the CEO and Co-Founder of Knotch, an independent provider of real-time intelligence for marketers. Her company has been recognised as one of the most innovative marketing technologies in the world, as it seeks to change the way global brands engage and understand their audiences. Anda has been named in both Inc’s and Forbes’ annual 30-Under-30 lists, which recognise the best and brightest young business minds across all industries.
Andrea Kaul (Germany)
Based on 20+ years of professional and leadership experience with international media companies and a large personal network, Andrea advises and supports media and media events in strategic and operational marketing and business development. Andrea’s great curiosity and passion for new trends and innovative solutions drive her to develop growth potentials for her clients.
Fascinated by the unfolding opportunities for media in times of digital change Andrea combined her profound background in international TV ad sales & amp; marketing with her passion for content and storytelling to nurture and advocate video and branded content initiatives. At dmexco, the leading annual digital exhibition and conference in Cologne, Germany, Andrea runs the Motion Hall, a dedicated stage highlighting the future of video with screenings by leading media brands and curates all video topics on the other dmexco stages as well.
With Webfest Berlin (September 2018) Andrea starts a new branded content category and with TV Series Festival Berlin (June 2018) Andrea organises matchmaking sessions and industry panels on branded content topics. At MIPTV, Andrea also ran the branded content initiatives for Germany. Further projects include consulting to international producers and media startups in marketing and business development.
Anita Kapadia (Canada) @anitakapadia
Is the Director of Partnerships at Pressboard media and a seasoned woman when it comes to leading cross-functional custom client native advertising campaigns. Before joining Pressboard, Anita was Head of Brand Solutions at AOL Canada.
Ann Gould Rubin (USA) @annrubin
As the VP of Corporate Marketing at IBM, Ann juggles many of IBM’s cross-company marketing-programs.. Ann is also the woman behind IBM’s customer reference program and has over 20 years of experience as a marketing professional at this very institution. She is an accomplished content marketing professional and an award-winning branded content professional. Recently, she was shortlisted for the 2017 CMO Awards in the category ‘The CMO Content Engagement Award’.
Ann Marinovich (USA) @annmarinovich
Ann Marinovich is the SVP of Content Partnerships and Strategy at Forbes Media. She is responsible for leading the company’s award-winning content marketing platform, BrandVoice. Marinovich joined Forbes in 2003. Most recently she was the Senior Vice President of Ad Products, where she oversaw digital and print advertising product development and sales strategy.
In 2016, Marinovich was recognised by Mobile Marketer as a “Woman to Watch” and Folio as one of the “Top Women in Media”. She is also co-chair of the IAB’s Committee for Social, Native and Content.
Anna Arvidsson (Sweden)
Anna Arvidsson is Head of Bonnier News Brand Studio in Sweden, a studio with an inspirational and courageous approach to native advertising. Anna and her team have a seat at the news desk of the second biggest newspaper in Sweden, Expressen and as a result, Anna Arvidsson is able to position her clients at the very epicentre of events and deliver relevant and updated commercial content to the readers. She is living proof that tearing down the walls between sales and editorial and keeping commercial editors in the news loop can actually lead to better commercial content.
Along with her team, Anna can brag about being the 2017 bronze winner in the category ‘Native Advertising Agency of the Year with over 20 employees’.
Anna Watkins (United Kingdom)
Is the CEO and Partner at MOFILM, an innovative filmmaker community owned by You & Mr Jones. She leads this hybrid of a creative agency and a crowd-sourced production company with a tactful focus on new formats and new creative ways to deliver branded content. Prior to her position at MOFILM, Anna was the Managing Director of Guardian Labs. Here she paved the way with solid native advertising work to ultimately ensure the native advertising studio’s success.
Annie heads up The Washington Post’s in-house creative agency, WP BrandStudio, where she shepherds innovative programs for hundreds of major advertisers. In just the past two years, she has built the team out to 4x the revenue, staff and number of advertisers, garnering a slew of industry accolades from Digiday, OMMA, min, dotCOMM, etc.
Her rich branded-content background spans the gamut from content strategy and creation to copywriting and video production. She has originated stories and overseen the production of multimedia programs for a wide variety of brands spanning Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Canon, Allstate, Prudential, AT&T, Dell, Mercedes, Jaguar, and Audi. In other words, Annie rocks native advertising!
Antonia Bonello (United Kingdom) @AntoniaBonello
Antonia Bonello is an Associate Creative Director for BuzzFeed UK. She joined the company in 2014 after her BuzzFeed commissioned ‘14 Most Brutal Deaths In Game Of Thrones As 8-Bit GIFs’ post went viral. Antonia works closely with brands to create engaging content on BuzzFeed’s platforms (including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat), leading design, animation, illustration, photography, and interactive game content.
Specialising in retro 8-bit animation, Antonia has reimagined Orange Is The New Black, Game Of Thrones, Friends, and even her daily commute on the tube network as hilariously charming pixel art. Antonia has worked on countless branded content campaigns for major brands, including Google, Nike, Netflix, Sky, eBay, Diageo, and Nestlé. She has created Snapchat games for Aviva, and even trained as a stuntwoman for Churchill Insurance.
Antonia’s work in native advertising has led to her being shortlisted for Design Week Awards Rising Star 2016 and The Drum Content Awards for Best Branded Content Campaign 2017, and winning Silver at the Media Week Awards for BuzzFeed’s partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society charity group.
Barbara Basney (USA) @bbasney
Is the VP of Global Brand, Advertising & Media at the Xerox Corporation and responsible for all corporate integrated marketing initiatives. She is a seasoned professional when it comes to working with media publishers and she knows how to optimise and leverage great content to maximise brand awareness and sales through paid media and native advertising.
Barbera is also on the Ad Council and International Advertising Association boards, and serves on the National Advertising Review Board panel. She is a member of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), as well as Advertising Women of New York. In 2014, she was named on the Brand Innovators list of the top 50 women in brand marketing. Barbara was also listed by the Internationalist as a top multinational marketer in 2011, and a top marketing leader in 2014.
Bettina von Schlippe (Singapore/Russia)
Having graduated from Munich University with a Diploma in Political Science,
History and Philosophy, Bettina’s first professional experiences were in vocational training during the exciting period after the fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany’s reunification. What followed were a first stint in publishing with Gruner+Jahr and media agency MMM in Hamburg, then a move to the rapidly ascending boomtown of Moscow in 1997, where Bettina continued her career in PR, media relations and event management with BBDO and Conde Nast Russia, followed by a decision in 2003 to start out on her own.
As the founder of R.S.V.P. – PR & Lifestyle Agency, Bettina has ventured into new markets, setting up offices in Singapore and Malaysia, and taken up the role of Publisher for Buro 24/7 in both these markets.
Today, Buro247.sg and its Malaysian sister-site Buro247.my are the leading online offerings for international lifestyle and luxury brands looking to promote products and services in the digital space. Native advertising, KOL management and influencer campaigns, social media marketing and new technologies have become the pivot for the creative minds that form R.S.V.P.’s teams in Moscow’s HQ as well as the SE Asian subsidiaries.
R.S.V.P. is a member of the Sermo network of international boutique agencies and the winner of the Sermo Award for the best native campaign for Hermes’ Cape Cod Collection in 2016.
Buro 24/7 won international acclaim for its Prada Dollhouse native campaign in 2017. Bettina invests all her energy and expertise into the development of a 360 signature approach merging the best of two worlds – the narrative power of editorials and the marketing expertise of the agency — in order to create new formats of engaging storytelling.
Camilla Kjems (Denmark) @camillakjems
Is the Editor in Chief at the Danish publishing house, Aller Media. She is an entrepreneur and visionary woman and has a great understanding of what inspires and moves her female readership regardless of the content having an editorial or commercial intent. She is also one of Denmark’s most seasoned ladies when it comes to developing native advertising campaigns for commercial partners.
Cara Doyle (Ireland) @caradoyle
Cara Doyle is one of the rising stars on the European native advertising sky. She is a content specialist, currently spearheading the fast-growing, digital branded content team within Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ. Cara comes from a background in TV production and print journalism, but her recent calling has put her on the native advertising map as a premiere AFP producer and a great storyteller.
Carol Matta (United Arab Emirates)
Is the Director of Native Advertising at the company Digital Media Service, owned by the Choueiri Group, the leading media representation group in the Middle East. She heads the native advertising product offerings and is responsible for state of the art solutions to the company’s clients and for making sure that the products and services offered match client needs. Moreover, Carol has worked professionally with the communication, PR and media industries for over a decade and has worked on the publisher, brand and agency side, so one might say that she has a 360° view on what needs to be present for a successful native advertising partnership to thrive.
Carolin Wies (Germany)
As Head of International Business at plista, the native advertising specialist, Carolin Wies, bears responsibility for more than 25 markets worldwide. Primarily responsible for key accounts, Carolin has been actively expanding the publisher network within plista’s core markets since 2013. These markets include Germany, Austria and Switzerland. As part of the international business development team, Carolin has accompanied plista’s global expansion into new markets, such as Australia, China, and North America since 2015. At the beginning of 2017, Carolin took over the strategic direction of the global publisher business. Due to her great knowledge and experience with the direct client business, Carolin is well-versed in the challenges and requirements on the supply and demand side, applying her expertise specifically towards the expansion of strategic partnerships.
Claire Austin (Australia) @trimyway
Claire Austin has seen it all in the social world. She joined the industry when brand/company pages were just being launched and paid media on social wasn’t even a thing. There was no guide book but Claire puts her success in social down to experimenting and showing brands new and powerful ways of engaging with their audiences. Claire now has over 10 years of experience working with brands in Europe, Asia and Australia. She recently joined LinkedIn as a Content Marketing Strategist and Evangelist after spending three years setting up and leading King Content’s social and native department. Claire has used her expertise to develop multi channel strategies for global B2C and B2B brands. She is now enjoying working with some of LinkedIn’s top clients to develop performance driven strategies that help to achieve business results.
Clara Valle (Spain)
After working for several film and advertising production companies in Spain and South America, Clare Valle became involved with the first branded content project by Telefónica. By paying homage to Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds, the team that Clare joined managed to make everybody believe that the Spanish government was hiding UFO sightings. More than 50 million people watched the campaign during the first week.
Since 2014, Clara has been working as Branded Content Director at El Terrat, where she has had tremendous success. Her work includes four editions of Cinergía, a project by Gas Natural Fenosa which has won more than 30 international awards, including the Golden Sun Award at El Sol Festival. She is a natural, and her expertise in film production has proven very useful in a native advertising context.
She says: “It took hard work and strategic know-how to succeed in creating the very first Spanish branded full-length film and actually getting people to engage with it. We managed to make a movie that ended up being the most viewed Youtube ‘ad’ of the year. And we’ve also produced the first non-conventional ad for Audi Spain. People demand great content and brands have the money to produce it and the need to get close to a relevant audience. Branded content has been in our life for many years now, but finally we are seeing it put to good use.”
Clare Carr (USA) @Clareondrey
Clare leads marketing, communications, and brand at Parse.ly. She’s translated a background in start-ups, renewable energy, and digital media into a passion for discovering what makes something worthy of audience attention. In 2017, Clare led an effort that resulted in a 200% increase in lead generation and a 1000% ROI (yes, you read that right!) through a program that combined original research with in-house data and analysis. Using native advertising and branded content as the primary distribution method, the campaign not only hit all revenue goals, but also increased the company’s share of voice, drove speaking opportunities and allowed the team at Parse.ly to invest further in content creation.
Clare also wants to help publishers understand how to make their case for native advertising stronger to potential advertisers and marketers. A contributor to The Drum, Native Ad Institute, and Digital Content Next, Clare speaks across the world on how analytics and data can unleash creative potential. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Clare lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Clare O’Brien (United Kingdom) @clareo
With a lifelong career in media, PR and marketing, Clare O’Brien has been an influential practitioner in the emergence of digital content as a discipline and its role in the monetisation of digital media platforms.
The co-founder of one of the UK’s first content strategy consultancies in 2003 (CDA) and joint founder of the UK’s Content Strategy Association, Clare’s practice has produced work for world class brands such as P&G’s Pampers, NatWest and RBS Banks, BP and Innovene, The BBC, TUI, Epson, The Kings Fund, The CBI, CIPD and The Association of British Insurers. Her special focus of interest has centred around finding effective ways of evaluating how, why and what content is invested in, how marketers can measure its ROI, and understanding how audiences use and interact with content of all types.
Most recently she has been working with the Industry through the IAB UK and now the advertiser association, ISBA, to help establish common understanding of, and standards in, the continued development of digital media from the perspective of stuff that people are there to read, watch, listen to or use.
Cristina Cerullo (USA)
Cristina is the creative director for Vox Creative at Vox Media, one of the fastest growing modern media companies in the US. She leads the creative team in developing branded content and native advertising campaigns that are aligned with the editorial and creative style of Vox Media’s multiple channels, counting universes of food, sports, gaming, tech, politics and more. Prior to her current role, Cristina has held positions within Vox Media, such as Director of Production, Senior Producer, and Director of Strategic Accounts.
Danielle Assadourian (United Arab Emirates)
Having grown up half of her life in Dubai, UAE, and then in Montreal, Canada – Danielle’s approach to content creation has become a hybrid of East meets West. Danielle is currently working in Dubai as a Branded Content Creative for a beauty franchise that is part of luxury retail group Chalhoub.
Dubai has become a centre for international talent and local artistry, which makes the creative energy quite unique. The Middle Eastern audience has very distinctive tastes when it comes to the content they consume – specifically in the beauty category. The appetite for content in the region is increasingly growing, particularly in video content. The Middle East and North African region was ranked 2nd in the world by number of daily Youtube video views. Working in beauty, Danielle and her team are able to create a high volume of video content that is very well received as the category performs so well.
When asked about what her favourite part of her job is, Danielle says “Remixing international codes to fit the region’s tastes in terms of content is what I love most about what I do as a content creator”.
Danielle is the founder of and branded content advisor at Dash. Morever, she is an Emmy award-winning content creator, and an accomplished media and marketing leader. She has held senior level branded content roles at Meredith Corporation, Tribune Publishing, Magnet Media, and IKA Collective. Danielle has written and produced several award-winning television documentaries, is a former on-air TV reporter, and is the co-author of two books for parents and teachers.
Doris Eichmeier (Germany) @DorisEichmeier
Doris Eichmeier is a content strategist based in Munich. She wrote the book “Die Content-Revolution im Unternehmen” (with Klaus Eck) and passes on her knowledge at the FH Joanneum in Graz (Master’s degree course Content Strategy). Her main focus is content analysis and quality. Doris’ conviction is: Companies have no chance at all points of contact without first-class content – mediocrity and disregard for the brand are poisonous. That’s why she keeps an eye on the entire corporate content: from product instructions to service content, training materials, online videos and shop texts. Doris works for Serviceplan, BrandTrust, d. Tales and C3.
Eileen Varnson (USA) @eisworld
Eileen Varnson is Cox Media Group’s Director for the Native and Content Advertising Studio. She was brought onboard to build this first-of-its-kind department and business function just over a year ago. She and her team help build clients for life through the power of “valuable storytelling”, a philosophy Eileen has developed over her extensive career of frontline experience on the agency side of the aisle.
Prior to joining Cox, Eileen worked as the Senior Director of Client Services at WebMD. There she managed the consumer book of work for the US and the UK and, most importantly, managed the sponsored content product line which included native advertising. She began her career in patient care and transitioned to medical sales and marketing before entering the agency ranks. As the lead for several boutique agency account teams, Eileen stewarded marketing and media campaigns for accounts such as Pfizer, J&J, P&G and dozens of top brands in the retail, CPG, financial services and restaurant verticals.
Eileen is a proven leader with a knack for team building, coaching and delivering results ahead of schedule. She is skilled in account management, media planning, native marketing, creative and digital strategy.
Elina Mansner (Finland) @elinamansner
Elina Mansner is a passionate B2B marketeer who is specialised in content marketing and native advertising. She has a solid background in developing native advertising in Finland and encouraging media houses to offer new solutions to brands. Her current focus is in smart inbound and highly targeted marketing automation in lead generation.
Elli Mäkilä (Finland) @Ellimakila
Elli Mäkilä is a Finnish media professional specialising in commercial content, marketing strategies and media education. Since the late 1990’s, she has been working with Finland’s biggest magazine publishers as journalist, editor in chief and, for the past seven years, at major publishing group Otava, including three years as Head of Native Advertising of Otavamedia. She has also worked in an advertising agency and several television productions as a producer and screenwriter.
As Head of Native Advertising and Chairman of the Native Advertising Committee, Mäkilä works to draw attention to the basic function of native advertising and content marketing – to generate unique extra value to both customer and the company. She connects internationally to develop more ethical native advertising policies and international quality recommendations, as well as from a corporate social responsibility point of view. Furthermore, Mäkilä is currently developing a structured model for native advertising and content marketing for performing art companies.
Mäkilä is known as an early bird, waking up at 05 am and hating lazy attitudes. She is a networker who loves to share ideas and connect experts from different areas. In 2013, she founded Private Business Women’s Society Occúrsus Club to gather like-minded women in leadership to promote good codes of conduct and ethical business.
Erin Lanuti (USA) @ErinLanuti
As Performics’ Global Performance Solutions Officer, Erin is responsible for shaping and leading the company’s Performance Solutions offering which taps the full technologies and resources of Performics and Publicis Media. Erin’s team is responsible for building solutions around discoverability, voice and commerce as well as overseeing the incubation of new solutions, investments and strategic partnerships. Erin will also continue to serve as the global lead for the award-winning Conversation2Commerce offering.
Erin’s work has received significant industry recognition and earned her two personal Bronze International Stevie’s for Executive of the Year and Innovator of the Year in 2017. She was also named in the prestigious Holmes Report Innovator 25 list in 2017.
Prior to Performics, Erin worked for seven years at another Publicis Groupe agency, MSLGROUP, where she was Chief Influence Strategist.
Eva Kohonen (Finland)
Eva is the Director of creative solutions at Sanoma Media Finland. She has a proven track record with international brands, marketing analytics and technology. She started the media sales of Sanoma Media Finland as the leader of the new Planning and Creative Sales team at the beginning of 2016.
Eva Kohonen has previously worked in various roles in marketing: advertising buyer, sales manager, creative team leader and business management. Before Sanoma, she worked with personalised marketing development at retail group Kesko as a customer relationships director.
Fara Warner (USA) @Farawarner
Fara Warner has worked in every storytelling medium from traditional print, books, and digital publishing to virtual reality films throughout her three-decade career. She is an award-winning author and journalist who speaks on the art and science of storytelling in a digital age, trends in digital publishing as well as the critical need for diversity in the creative teams and women’s growing economic and social power.
As Global Content Director at The Wall Street Journal, Fara combines powerful technology and emotive storytelling techniques to create immersive programs for a deep portfolio of national and international brands and companies.
Projects such as Cocainenomics, created for the launch of Netflix Narcos, brought together investigative journalism, interactive data visualisations and gaming to create a program that has been called “as addictive as the show and the drug itself”.
Prior to joining WSJ, she was VP of Custom Content at Dow Jones and prior to that, she served as editorial director of AOL Inc’s Tech, Business and Entertainment Group, overseeing editorial strategy and teams for leading finance technology blogs, including DailyFinance, TechCrunch, and Engadget. She also created and produced the year-long program, This Built America, that explored through documentary video, powerful photography and narrative journalism the resurgence of American manufacturing following the 2008 Great Recession. The program was sponsored by Ford Motor Co.
Hannah Meium (USA) @thebesthannah
Hannah has a unique background, having spent time on “all three sides” – brand, publisher, and agency. Currently, she is Director of Content at DDB New York. In this role, Hannah leads digital and social content strategy as well as content partnerships for State Farm and Persil. Brought in with the specific task of “helping brands to think like publishers,” Hannah firmly believes in the power of brand stories. More specifically, she sees the value of leveraging media partners and platforms to help tell these stories, and believes that brands should think natively too.
Before joining DDB, Hannah spent two years as the Director of Branded Content at Mashable, where she oversaw the creative, strategic, multi-platform work Mashable produced for all brand partners. Highlights included Netflix, Ford, Qualcomm, Wells Fargo, American Family Insurance, PepsiCo, Hilton Doubletree, McDonald’s, and Kia.
Prior to Mashable, Hannah spent six years at Madison Square Garden, creating content for the Rockettes and live productions (Christmas Spectacular and Spring Spectacular), including the NY Emmy-award winning series “Rockettes Summer Intensive” which aired on the MSG Varsity channel. Hannah also led digital content integrations with The Colbert Report, Project Runway, NBC’s America’s Got Talent, TODAY Show and helped grow the Rockettes social community from 3,000 to 1.4 million. A Minnesota native, Hannah began her career creating content for Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day.
Ingrid Louise Kvam (Norway)
Ingrid Louise Kvam is the Content Director for Spray, the inhouse content agency at Nettavisen. Nettavisen is one of the largest news sites in Norway. Ingrid has worked for the publisher for a total of 11 years and she made the transfer to the inhouse content agency and her current position in 2013. When she started in her current position, she was the first content director working with native advertising for a national news site in Norway.
As a Content Director at Nettavisen she has gained substantial expertise working creatively with idea and concept development, production and optAimisation of campaigns, as well as leadership, strategic planning and analysis.
Irina Pashina (Germany) @IrinaPashina
Irina connects organisations and people through great content. She is a global content strategy expert with extensive experience in the technology and non-profit sectors. Leading a content strategy function at SAP, she shapes superior customer experiences with the right content across the spectrum of owned, earned, and paid media.
An economist and coach by training, Irina has a deep passion for the intersection of people, technology, and content. She believes that working with content is like a marathon: it requires discipline and a relentless focus on what matters. With that belief, Irina drives the change of instilling a content culture in which content is treated as a customer-centric business asset. The approach has paid off and her work has been recognised as best practice on multiple occasions.
Irina is also a frequently requested speaker on content, digital, and leadership topics, Irina contributes to advancing the content strategy practice in the worldwide marketing community. Most recently, she spoke at the 2nd Content Strategy Summit 2018 and was a member of the Native Advertising Awards jury 2017. Recognised in 10 Women in Marketing and Communications You Should Know, she is a mentor and coach helping people discover their potential, and that of content.
Jackie Bernstein (USA) @jackieberns
Jackie Bernstein is the director of branded content at Bustle Digital Group, guiding content strategy and execution across Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily under the umbrella of BDG Studios. This year, the in-house content studio has kept pace with BDG’s massive revenue growth while garnering industry recognition (WINNER 2017 Digiday Content Marketing Awards for “Best Use Of Instagram”; NOMINATED 2018 Digiday Publishing Award for “Best Content Studio” and “Best Custom Advertising”).
Previously, she held positions at HuffPost Partner Studio and at OMD.
Jaime Pham (United Kingdom) @Jamielynn09
Jaime Pham has spent the last five years consulting companies on how to build and maintain engagement with content in the social news feed. As LinkedIn’s original Content Marketing Evangelist, she’s developed a unique perspective on the power of social content for brands and individuals. Working across industries and geographies, she’s helped global and regional marketers around the world understand the role of social media on the buyer’s’ journey, craft content that is relevant and engaging, and use the power of social media to gain insights and optimise efforts.
Jamie Waugh Luke (USA) @jamienow
Jamie Waugh Luke started her career in luxury and business journalism 20 years ago at Conde Nast and CNN, and soon began to apply her storytelling talents in the branded content and advertising worlds. She worked as an ad and content copywriter for beauty and fashion brands including Chanel, Tiffany & Co. and Brooks Brothers, focusing on brand voice and actionable e-commerce content. From there she launched Gilt City as the site’s Editorial Director and led the branded content team for the ahead-of-its-time women’s style and beauty site DailyCandy
She now leads creative ideation and execution at the branded content lab The Foundry @ Time Inc (now Meredith Corp) for all the publisher’s advertisers in the tech, health, finance and international verticals, leading creative teams in the development of branded storytelling through articles, videos, and responsive digital experiences. She continues to help her own clients develop branded content and social strategy.
Jenny Wall (USA)
Jenny is the CMO of the podcasting company, Gimlet Media. Before joining the Gimlet team, she was SVP, Head of Marketing at Hulu, where she oversaw all marketing programs, promotion efforts and creative work for the company. Jenny has also worked at Netflix and HBO. She spent 10 years on the agency side between HBO and Netflix working with TV, film and gaming clients.
Joanna Carrigan (United Kingdom) @Jo_Carrigan
Jo Carrigan is Head of Branded Content at News UK, sitting within digital strategy leadership and covering their full portfolio of heritage brands – The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun. Formerly Commercial Editor at The Huffington Post, her role provides a link between commercial and editorial in order to develop and grow digital branded content strategy across the business. A First Women (media category) finalist, Jo draws on extensive content experience gained from a background in journalism, agency planning and commercial environments.
Joie Healy (USA) @JoieHealy
Joie Healy is a Senior Manager of Social Media Communications at Cisco. She manages the social media team and produces content for Cisco’s Technology News site as well as other corporate communications channels. Prior to Cisco, Joie worked at NBC for 15 years where she produced several award-winning local newscasts for NBC’s Owned stations in San Diego, Los Angeles and the Bay Area.
Jonna Ekman (Sweden) @jonnaekman
Storytelling is one of mankind’s most powerful tools. Jonna Ekman has always been fascinated by the extraordinary impact a great story can have and she truly learned the craft as a young journalist at the local newspaper Ålandstidningen. In her search for new audiences, she quickly understood the power of digital social interactions and distributed her content to digital platforms long before Facebook had travelled across the Atlantic.
Working as an editor, journalist and PR manager at some of Sweden’s biggest media companies and television channel TV3 she realised that great stories are great stories regardless of where they come from and whether they are editorial or commercial. Her obvious talent for packaging and telling brand stories brought Jonna to Swedish startup KIT, a cutting edge, social-only publisher redefining the view of content in social media. As Marketing Manager at KIT Jonna plays an essential part in both helping clients to tell their stories on social platforms, and also in spreading the story of KIT around the world.
Jonna Säll (Sweden) @jonnasall
Has worked with media and within content marketing for the last 10+ years. She has worked at Sweden’s biggest newspaper, Aftonbladet, and helped develop the native advertising offer at Bonnier News and Expressen. Additionally, Jonna was one of the first 10 people to join N365 Group, a content marketing agency that now exists and thrives with offices in seven countries. Jonna is now building the N365 business in the US with an office and base in New York.
Josefine Kvarnström (Sweden)
Started as a trainee in Schibsted 10 years ago and has worked in the company since. In 2009, she closed her very first native campaign at Aftonbladet, Sweden’s largest daily, and the rest is history. Today Josefine is responsible for Schibsted’s Brand Studio in Sweden focusing on all their native offerings. “Native advertising has always been close to my heart,” she says. “For me it has always been a sophisticated way of marketing. I like to describe it as a win-win-win for advertisers, publishers and readers. The field has developed during the years and now you can see even more creative campaigns when it comes to video and creative UX and design. I believe this area will keep on growing and the most important thing for advertisers and publishers is to keep on focusing on quality and clear labelling.”
Kaveri Jain (India)
Kaveri joined the HT Media Group almost three years back as their Digital Marketing Lead and set up the Group’s first Native & Branded content studio. Prior to this she spent years with Reckitt Benckiser in the UK and India developing their digital marketing expertise. With over 14 years’ experience across FMCG, publishing, hospitality and the non-profit sector, she is now most passionate about creating great content and narratives that can be platform agnostic. “I think it’s an exciting time to be in digital publishing and participate in the organic transition that is underway,” she says, “forcing publishers and advertisers to exit their comfort zone.”
Kelsey Libert (USA) @KelseyLibert
Kelsey Libert is a partner at Fractl, a content marketing agency specialised in producing newsworthy content that secures high-authority press for its clients, resulting in increased organic rankings and brand engagement. Since 2012, Kelsey and her team have produced nearly 1,000 client campaigns that have been published in over 110,000 sites and earned over 10,000,000 social shares. Kelsey’s marketing research is regularly featured on Harvard Business Review, and she’s presented her findings and case studies at conferences across the US and Europe.
Kim Robertz (Germany) @robertzkim
Kim Robertz is Head of Sales and Native Advertising at Ebner Media Group. With Ebner’s media outlets, she develops customised native storytelling concepts that succeed multichannel in highly targeted special interest and B2B audiences. Prior to joining Ebner, she headed the Business Partnerships and Mobile departments at RTL Media Group. For more than a decade, Kim has developed branded content concepts and partnerships with brands. Drawing from her experience, the foundation for successful native content is user-centricity with a balanced brand integration.
Laura Sophie Dornheim (Germany) @schwarzblond
Dr Laura Sophie Dornheim holds a diploma in business informatics and gained a PhD. for her research on women in leadership positions. Throughout her career she has gained almost 20 years of experience working with different digital businesses. One of her first jobs was with a large German publishing house, working on the websites for their many magazines.
Selling online ads as it was done in print was problematic from the very beginning and the results of this we see today in bad and annoying ads all over the internet. So when eyeo, the company behind Adblock Plus approached Laura in 2015 to become their Head of Communications, she didn’t hesitate. She advocates for sustainable ad blocking as a user’s right, which at the same time allows publishers to monetise their content with decent, relevant ads. Part of her job is also to advise advertisers and publishers on how to create ads that users don’t feel the urge to block. According to Laura, good native ads, ideally in the form of branded content, are one way out of the dilemma of current online advertising.
Lauren Reddy (USA) @MissReddy
Lauren Reddy is the Director of Audience Development and Insights within the advertising team at The New York Times where she leads content distribution, measurement, performance, and social strategy for T Brand Studio. During her tenure, T Brand Studio has been honored with a Grand Prix for Mobile Lions at Cannes, Best Sponsored Editorial from The Native Creatives, a Content Marketing Award, an IAB Mixx Award for Virtual and Augmented Reality, an OMMA Award for Native Advertising, and a Clio. T Brand Studio was also named Native Advertising Studio of the Year by the Native Advertising Institute and Hottest in Native Advertising by AdAge.
Reddy instructed a digital class for The School of The New York Times on Attracting, Engaging and Measuring Digital Audiences for Branded Content. Prior to joining The Times, she worked across editorial, marketing, and advertising teams at Time Out and The Huffington Post, focusing on content strategy, social media, and analytics. She is a resident of New York City and graduate of Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California.
Lindsey Clarke (United Kingdom) @LindseyBClarke
Lindsey Clarke drives global expansion for Nativo as Managing Director of the UK office. With her deep, first-hand understanding of the immediate and long-term needs for EU marketers and publishers, she is building Nativo’s profile amongst European brands, agencies and publishers.
Lindsey came to Nativo from Krux, where she oversaw the data-management platform’s publishers partnerships, Go To Market Strategies worldwide, as Vice President of Global Advertising Strategy. Before joining Krux, Lindsey built and oversaw the publisher development group at Acxiom. Prior to Acxiom, Lindsey oversaw publisher development and publisher solutions for AudienceScience.
Line Prasz (Denmark) @lineprasz
When the Danish newspaper, Politiken, began to focus on native advertising, Line Prasz took the jump. After 12 years as a journalist she physically moved up a floor – and mentally began the journey from the editorial newsroom to the sales department, building the paper’s inhouse native-department, Politiken Native, from scratch. It was in 2016 when native advertising was fairly new in Denmark and the job as commercial editor had to be defined along the way.
A lot of learnings, trials and experiments later, Line has used her expertise as a journalist and storyteller, combined with a solid online media experience, to create a native-unit that tailors value added content for Danish as well as international brands like Opel, Philips Lighting, Hästens and Doctors without Borders, helping them to achieve their goals.
Liz McDonnell (USA) @liz_mcdonnell7
Liz McDonnell is Managing Director of Insights & Marketing and former Senior Director of Creative Strategy & Insights at T Brand Studio. Previously, Liz Worked as Director of marketing, overseeing everything from marketing new mobile ad products and branded content partnerships to leading more consumer-focused efforts like @MyNYTimes on Instagram. Furthermore, she has been one of the spearheads behind the success of the native ad unit, T Brand Studio. The T Brand Studio is a result of the massive interest from advertisers looking to market their brands through the NYT platform.
Maggie Wells (USA) @travelwriter27
Maggie Wells is the VP of Publisher Solutions at Connatix, the leading native video monetisation and syndication platform. Maggie has built her business development career on the cutting edge of technology and has been launching products and companies in digital media and ad tech for over 15 years.
Her previous roles include SVP, Marketing, for Digilant, an ad tech firm in Boston, and Global Marketing & Operations Director for a digital advertising business within The Economist Group.
Mara Einstein (USA) @MaraEinstein
Mara Einstein has been working in or writing about the media industry for more than 30 years. She has enjoyed stints as a marketing executive at NBC, MTV Networks, and at major advertising agencies. Dr Einstein is the author of six books, inclding Black Ops Advertising: Native Ads, Content Marketing, and the Covert World of the Digital Sell (O/R Books, 2016), which was positively reviewed by Tim Wu in the New York Times, and Advertising: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2017).
Her work appears in academic journals and edited texts as well as in popular outlets including Newsday, Broadcasting & Cable, Advertising Age, Harvard Business Review, and Fastcoexist. She is regularly quoted as a marketing expert on NPR as well as in the New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. Dr Einstein is a Professor of Media Studies at Queens College, CUNY, and director of the MA program in media and social justice.
Maria Marteleur (Sweden) @BookyDarling
Maria Marteleur is now the CEO and Founder at Storstad, a strategic storytelling agency with focus on social media and native advertising. She was the first Native Ad Editor at the news desk when Sweden’s biggest daily business paper, Dagens Industri, started its native ad-business in 2014. She later became the Product Manager of Native Advertising at Bonnier News (Dagens Nyheter, Expressen, Dagens Industri and DI Digital). She’s been a native advertiser since 2007, when she worked with daily newspaper Metro.
Mary Gail Pezzimenti (USA) @mgpezz
Mary Gail is the Vice President of Branded Content at Mashable. She leads Mashable’s branded content team, Mashable Brand X, overseeing its creative strategy, development, presentation and execution for all of its custom projects for advertising partners.
Mary Gail was most recently the VP of Content Creation for the Huffington Post Partner Studio. She oversaw content and editorial strategy development; leading a team of editors, producers, strategists and influencers. HuffPost Partner Studio produces award-winning original and curated blog, video and visual storytelling. HuffPo has grown into one of the most innovative and premier content marketing partners for brands looking to leverage quality engagement distributed at scale with their desired audiences. Curate, Create and Collaborate is the team’s mantra, projecting a brand-as-publisher ethos.
Prior to HuffPo, Mary Gail was at Federated Media, as the VP of Content Strategy leading a team of creative content marketers sourcing content from influential bloggers. Before FM, she held key senior editorial positions in both digital and print platforms for a number of Conde Nast properties including GQ, Lucky, Domino, Women’s Sports and Fitness, and Details magazines.
Megan Gilbert is currently Director of Branded Editorial (focus on interactives) at VICE Media. She started her career in native in 2009 when she was the first hire by Gawker Media (RIP) to write branded content for the network. She has created strategy and content for the Washington Post, Slate, Fusion, UPROXX, and others, and has led creative and production teams spanning written, visual, social, and video content.
Melanie Deziel (USA) @mdeziel
Melanie Deziel is an award-winning branded-content strategist, consultant, and speaker who travels the world teaching marketers and publishers how to tell better brand stories. She started The Overlap League native ad newsletter, writes the New Media Navigator column for Inc, is on the board of the Native Advertising Institute and developed one of the first Masters courses in Content Marketing for Fairleigh Dickinson University.
She is the former director of creative strategy for Time Inc. and was the first editor of branded content at The New York Times, where she wrote the sponsored content pieces that won the 2014 and 2015 Best Native Advertising Execution OMMA Award, including the acclaimed “Women Inmates” piece for Netflix.
Melissa Diaz (USA) @MelisD
Melissa is building great things at Meredith Corp (Formerly Time, Inc) within The Foundry, serving out go-to-market strategy and top-industry execution in Products and Operations across Meredith’s 50+ US digital media brands with a large focus on native advertising, branded content, and other great ad products for Fortune 500 and numerous other partners.
Previously, Melissa hung her hat at boutique advertising agency o2kl. Here, Melissa worked on strategy, production and management of TV, digital and print on fun campaigns including numerous award-winning and innovative big brand ideas.
Just prior, Melissa put down some building blocks at Nature Education, the education startup division of Nature Publishing Group, as the sole marketer for the first ever interactive, digital biology e-textbook for college/AP courses.
Melissa is the Executive Vice President at Cheddar, a new live video media company at the intersection of business news and culture. Melissa and her team work with top brands to create first of their kind, live native integrations. For her creative work in advertising, she was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Business Insider’s 30 Most Creative People Under 30 and as one of Digiday’s “Changemakers”.
Previously, Melissa was BuzzFeed’s Vice President of Creative Services, where she led a team of global creatives responsible for building native social content executions for advertisers. Melissa and her team worked with Fortune 500 brands to create compelling, engaging, and social branded content for the social web. Joining the staff in 2010, Rosenthal was a key contributor to the early success of BuzzFeed’s branded content advertising model, and created the site’s first ads.
Melody Lalata (the Philippines)
Melody Lalata, a Gen X-er in the digital age, has been with Summit Media, the Philippines’ largest magazine publisher and now a digital-first content company, for nine years. She has guided several brands from its print to digital transition, which include SmartParenting.com.ph and Yummy.ph, both strong digital players in their respective industries. She has also helped relaunch Summit’s gen-z brand Candymag.com as the network’s initial social-first asset.
Under her helm as Summit’s deputy group publisher of young women, parenting, home, entertainment, and food websites, these brands enjoy growing support from advertisers and audiences alike and are now considered digital leaders.
Mickey Zhang (China)
Mickey Zhang is Managing Director of Xaxia China, the premiere outcome media company specialised in advanced artificial intelligence and proven expertise to drive and optimize programmatic media investments for advertisers worldwide. Mickey is responsible for leading Xaxis operations and overseeing the expansion of programmatic offerings in the Chinese market.
Since joining GroupM in 2012, Mickey has been at the helm of GroupM’s award-winning search team in China and played a vital role in launching GroupM E-commerce. This unit focused on providing E-commerce consultancy to over 30 clients, including GSK, Pfizer, Danone and etc.
Prior to joining GroupM, Mickey led award-winning sales teams at Baidu and Google respectively, providing integrated search-marketing solutions for direct response clients in retail, travel, education, gaming and other Internet service industries. She also set a record revenue achievement and established strategic development and service for major accounts.
Mickey started her career at eBay in 2003 as a digital marketing analyst, responsible for all marketing related data mining and data driven business optimization.
With more than 12 years’ digital advertising experience on the agency, client and publisher sides, Mickey’s wealth of experience and digital know-how brings deep expertise into the Chinese ad market.
Nataša Šudelija (Croatia)
Nataša Šudelija is an excellent example of a self-taught native expert who is successfully writing and telling stories for 24sata.hr and its five subsites as well as 24sata daily print newspapers. With a degree in Journalism, she found herself working in media sales, first in radio and then in publishing. After coming to 24sata, she got the opportunity to create one of the first native articles in Croatia in early 2016.
Since then, Nataša has created new content formats at 24sata and, in December of 2016, set up 24ContentHaus. It was the first in-house native studio in Croatia and in 2017, the most awarded native studio in the world. Apart from creating stories and developing new native ad formats, her focus and passion is distribution and strategy, which Nataša sees as crucial parts of every native ad campaign. She looks forward to what the future brings, because as she says: this is digital – you can never say you have seen it all.
Nathalie Nahai (United Kingdom) @NathalieNahai
Nathalie is an international speaker and author of the best-selling book, Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion (Pearson), whose work explores the rich and fascinating field of web psychology. From keynotes to workshops, she teaches businesses how to apply scientific rigour to their website design, content marketing and products. One of the leading voices in the psychology of online behaviour, Nathalie often hosts podcasts and contributes to national publications, TV and radio on the subject.
Nina Nørgaard Jacobsen (Denmark) @nnjacobsen
Nina recently founded biites.com, a new film-platform dedicated to collecting and displaying the best in advertiser funded long form film and series. She currently works with both brands and TV-production companies to help create the next generation of AFP programs and to take sponsored film and series to the next level.
She is dedicated to connecting business value to content marketing. As previous head of Business Development and Marketing at one of Denmark’s largest law firms Nina was at the forefront in integrating innovative content marketing with measurable business KPIs in an otherwise largely conservative industry. Prior to this, Nina led the development of one of the largest Danish entrepreneurial fairs in Copenhagen. During her work with founders and start-ups, Nina focused on creating a content strategy for the event based on the entrepreneurs’ stories, dreams and aspirations.
Nina Kennedy (Germany)
Nina Kennedy has spent her entire professional life in the digital world — and still loves it. After studying in Germany and the USA she joined the quickly expanding digital media landscape.
Nina started working in digital media planning and strategy at Universal McCann, helped with building a digital unit for Axel Springer’s agency and proposal management and was in charge of VICE’s digital media business in Germany as Head of Digital Network until early 2018.
Now she has taken on a new and very exciting challenge: Unifying the digital media business of all three German speaking countries in Europe as Head of Media DACH.
This encompasses developing a multi-platform strategy, implementing new interactive rich media formats and establishing a cross-national native advertising approach.
Nonny de la Peña (USA) @NonnyDLP
Nonny de la Peña is one of the most influential pioneers in virtual and augmented reality. She is founder and CEO of the award-winning Emblematic Group, renowned for using cutting-edge technologies to tell immersive stories that create intense, empathic engagement on the part of viewers. She was named one of CNET’s 20 Most Influential Latinos In Tech, Wired Magazine’s #MakeTechHuman Agent of Change and has been called the “Godmother of VR” by Forbes, Engadget and The Guardian.
Widely credited with inventing the field of immersive journalism by premiering the first-ever VR experience at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012, “Hunger In Los Angeles,” she is now on the verge of announcing another breakthrough: Emblematic Group’s new REACH web platform, which allows anyone to tell their story in room-scale VR.
With Nonny at the helm, Emblematic continues to be the leader in immersive journalism and volumetric storytelling, and her visionary leadership has consistently driven breakthroughs in technology, resulting in profitable partnerships with blue chip companies around the globe. She has earned numerous awards and accolades along the way, including the Knight Innovation Award, New America Fellow and Yale Poynter Media Fellow. Nonny is also a member of the BAFTA VR Advisory Board and a TED speaker.
Showcases around the globe include the Venice Film Festival, World Economic Forum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Nonny’s work has also been featured by The New York Times, BBC, Elle Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, Vice, Buzzfeed and USA Today. Prior to Emblematic, Nonny spent more than 20 years in media as a writer, director and producer, including stints as a correspondent for Newsweek and a drama writer for CBS.
Nora Vanderschrick (Belgium) @dPA_LetsTalk
After studying Communication Sciences at the University of Brussels, Nora first worked in the music industry. Afterwards, she gained some creative sales skills at SBS and ended up in the creative sales department of the biggest publishing sales house in Belgium: de Persgroep Publishing.
Native advertising soon proved to be the holy grail to counter declining sales revenues and advertisers set their mind on storytelling. That is why BrandTales, a brand new dedicated team on native advertising projects, was born.
The biggest challenge? Convincing the editorial staff of the power of storytelling when used by advertising brands. BrandTales also had to impart what native advertising is all about to the advertisers.
The secret behind a good native campaign is finding the unique common goal between one’s own publishing brands and advertisers: entertaining, educating & informing our audiences.
And there you have what Nora likes the most about her job: Inspiring her talented team to make native advertising a success and a blooming business, enabling growth in revenues year after year by looking for new innovations, and convincing the editorial staff to publish native content as premium content.
As from January 1st, de Persgroep Advertising merged with MEDIALAAN. Nora is now responsible for the department “Creative & Strategy” for all media (radio, tv, online, print).
Olalla Uriarte (Spain) @OlallaUriarte
Olalla Uriarte is one of four Branded Content Directors at Unidad Editorial, one of Spain’s biggest publishing groups. She is a seasoned journalist and, in 2015, she decided to switch her editorial focus to branded content and help build the native advertising unit at Unidad Editorial.
She believes that when brands and publishers work together, the content they create becomes more relevant than traditional advertising. Ultimately, the readers at Unidad Editorials many publications benefit from this high-value content created especially for them. She is a firm believer that a new ecosystem for brand storytelling where everyone can learn and receive useful insights from the others is the ultimate win-win for everyone.
Pippa Scaife (United Kingdom)
Pippa Scaife is Commercial Director, Digital Ad Sales and Data, at CNN International Commercial (CNNIC), where her focus is on growing partnerships for emerging brands such as Great Big Story, the independent global media company dedicated to cinematic storytelling.
Based in London, Scaife works with Great Big Story’s product and editorial teams, as well as CNNIC’s Digital Directors and global advertising sales teams around the world, to identify new business opportunities, develop brand solutions and build on the successful partnerships that have been crucial to Great Big Story’s growth over the last two years. Working with partners including ANA, Dubai Tourism, and IBM, Great Big Story delivers a broad range of innovative solutions, as well as the company’s core offering of socially distributed micro-documentaries that bring brands to life by showcasing unique and inspiring characters.
Scaife was previously Head of Business Development at Box Plus, the UK’s largest music TV network, where she looked after commercial partnerships and digital advertising during a pivotal time in the company’s digital transition. Prior to that, she held roles at Sony PlayStation and Spotify.
Polly Rayne (United Kingdom)
Polly started her digital career as the sole project manager in the Creative Solutions team at Huffington Post and AOL, and was an early pioneer of the branded content movement. At a time when “native” in market was often dismissed, and greatly misunderstood by many brands, Huff Post was leading the way and firmly establishing itself as the leader in native advertising.
Polly remained a resolute native champion and, seven years later, the team, renamed as RYOT Studios (now a division of Verizon Media’s Oath) focuses on multimedia editorial, brand experiences and creative technology to create award-winning stories for brands.
RYOT has not only grown to become an engaging and immersive storytelling platform on Oath’s content brands HuffPost, MSN, Engadget and Yahoo, but it is also a world leader in AR/VR, and 360 content, featured and celebrated at iconic film festivals such as the Academy Awards and Emmy Television Awards,
Polly currently leads the Production & Operations for RYOT Studio in the UK, putting her successes down to tenacity, positivity and having a talented team behind her. She has already set her sights on her next challenge for 2018: spreading ‘the RYOT way’ to the rest of EMEA.
Rachael Post (USA)
Rachael Post served as the Vice President of Branded Content at Guardian Labs US, The Guardian Media Group’s content marketing studio in New York. She managed the branded content team and created compelling content marketing campaigns for global brands such as Microsoft, Cisco, GM, Nissan, Visa, Ben & Jerry’s, Rainforest Alliance and Amazon Studios.
Rachael is passionate about helping brands tell their stories and reach audiences around the world. The Guardian’s How to Solve a Murder series for Amazon received extensive press coverage as the first original series of investigative brand journalism. Formerly, Rachael was a business journalist in Silicon Valley and an adjunct professor of marketing for MBA programs at various universities. She holds dual master’s degrees in journalism and Latin American studies from the UC Berkeley.
Rachel Adler (USA) @Rachel_Adler
Rachel Adler is the Branded Content Director for Fashionista.com, transitioning from a long career in beauty editorial. Taking her vast experience from the editorial world, Rachel has developed a series of native advertising programs for Fashionista – from video to original photography – to enrich their long-form content on the site. Working with brands ranging from fashion, beauty and lifestyle to even the school space, Rachel has expanded the offerings that Fashionista CoLab has available to clients and is continuing to do so as we speak.
Raquel Bubar (United Kingdom) @raquelbubar
Raquel Bubar leads the international arm of T Brand Studio, the branded content team at The New York Times, operating in London, Paris and Hong Kong. Here she leads a team creating content and experiences that spark imagination and influence audiences around the world. Since expanding outside of the US, the team has gone on to achieve wide international recognition and awards for its innovation and creative talent, including programs for Philips, UBS, Ford, Huawei and Cartier.
Raquel first joined The New York Times T Brand Studio at the headquarters in New York before relocating to London to head programs in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Prior to T Brand Studio, Raquel worked for Edelman on digital public relations and social media campaigns based in Washington DC and New York.
Rebecca Lieb (USA) @Lieblink
Rebecca Lieb is a strategic advisor, research analyst, keynote speaker, author, and columnist as well as an analyst and founding partner at research advisory firm Kaleido Insights. Her areas of specialisation are digital marketing and media, with a concentration on content strategy, content marketing and converged media.
She works with many of the world’s leading brands on digital marketing innovation. Clients range from start-up to non-profits to Fortune 100 brands and regulated industries. Rebecca was one of the first to conduct and publish in-depth research on native advertising and she is a renowned keynote speaker on the topic. Moreover, she sits on the Native Advertising Institute’s Advisory Board and is a jury member at the Native Advertising Awards.
Rhian Mason (USA) @Rhimason
Rhian is yet another pioneer in the native and branded content space. With eight years’ experience on both client and agency sides in this space, she has hundreds of content campaigns under her belt across global FMCG, government, tourism, retail, and B2B brands. It’s her unique blend of creative and media expertise that enables integrated thinking across influencer marketing, paid media distribution, and experiential channels to create experiences that carefully balance the brand voice and audience needs.
Ricki Petrini (Sweden) @blackbeautybox
Ricki Petrini works for Mediekompaniet, an organisation that represents 76 of the biggest local media houses in Sweden. She is a versatile communication and content strategist who focuses on contextual native solutions. With a journalist background, she is a true content fanatic who always fights for a good story (no – great story), told eloquently with the right packaging. Over the past years, Ricki has made guest speaking appearances around Sweden on the subject of native advertising.
Rita Orschiedt (Germany)
Rita Orschiedt is Head of Content Marketing Solutions at Süddeutche Zeitung GmbH.
Prior to this, Rita was responsible for branded content at ze.tt after having worked both in journalism and marketing for nearly a decade. She has written pitches for more than 100 clients and helped to make ze.tt a profitable start-up of Zeitverlag by this year.
If you ask Rita about her mission, she will tell you that it is to enable the best experience for all stakeholders: the editorial team, the client, the marketer, the agency – and, most importantly, to create responsible content for the Millennial users, the most difficult target group of all.
Sarah Sherman (USA)
As Associate Creative Director for Atlantic Re:think, The Atlantic’s Creative Marketing Group, Sarah Sherman oversees a team of designers, developers and writers in the creation of multimedia and video content. Since joining The Atlantic three years ago, Sarah has produced over 50 videos for The Atlantic’s advertising partners. Some of the most notable projects she’s overseen include:
Cathay Pacific & Possible Health: Sarah spent two weeks in Nepal to tell the story of Possible Health, and how Cathay Pacific supports their work. There, she developed a 3-part documentary series on the organization’s efforts to rebuild Nepal’s healthcare infrastructure in the wake of devastating earthquakes.
Miss Sloane & Taking Charge on K Street: For the promotion of the new film Miss Sloane, Sarah was able to speak with some of the most influential female lobbyists in Washington DC. With unprecedented access, she produced a three-part series about the challenges and misperceptions of being a female lobbyist in a male-dominated industry.
HPE and Eighteen Zeros: On behalf of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, she produced a seven-minute documentary around the global effort to build the world’s next great supercomputer. The film saw recognition on AdAge, AdWeek, and Fast Company.
Shannen Craft (USA)
Shannen Craft, a product designer at Hearst Newspapers, believes in the balance between editorial and a brand’s need to share the real estate of a screen in a meaningful and valuable way. With a background in advertising as well as marketing from institutions such as The New York Times and I Heart Radio, Shannen has become well-equipped at integrated marketing design when considering the framework for a new property at Hearst Newspapers. Notable work includes the development of Flex Frame at The New York Times, the groundbreaking component based framework that allowed brands to span all devices and page types with native, integrated stories that were premium in nature.
Shannen is now focused on redesigning core products that include native advertising at Hearst Newspapers, and seeking to challenge the way advertiser voices are integrated and come to life for the reader.
Silvia Messa (Italy)
Silvia Messa is the Creative Director at the content studio RCS Studio, the native advertising arm of the Italian publishing house RCS MediaGroup.
Prior to her position at RCS Studio, Silvia worked as an art director for various prominent International advertising agencies in Milan, Italy, and she spent four years working as a Creative Director for Condé Nast publishing company in its creative advertising department.
Over the years, Silvia has logged thousands of hours doing everything related to brand solutions, managing cross media advertising and advertorial ideas for clients across all newspapers and magazines. She has been an advocate of ensuring that the quality of every idea met the highest creative standards from a visual treatment point of view.
In her own words: “The most important thing to consider when I think of a native advertising longform, for example, is the newspaper user’s reading experience. My personal obsession is to make sure — in addition to the pleasant reading of the content — that the one who reads will remember the beautiful aesthetic experience that kept him or her engaged for several minutes while consuming the content. I always look for new visual languages and new technological opportunities to add to the content to intrigue readers to spend more time with the content.”
Sonja Knab (Germany)
Sonja Knab is responsible for the Partner Studio and Research department at the Advertising Unit of BurdaForward, one of the leading digital publishers and native pioneers in Germany. BurdaForward was one of the first German advertising companies to create and implement a publishers’ content studio for their native advertising solutions.
Sonja Knab has longstanding experience and comprehensive expertise in the research field: After graduating from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich in Social Studies with a Major in Communication Sciences and Market & Advertising Psychology. Sonja Knab worked at the Mediaplus agency group in the classical media research field, for two years. In March 2010, Knab changed to the digital marketer TOMORROW FOCUS Media (today: BurdaForward), which offers next to classical campaign-accompanying advertising effect and analyses a broad spectrum of research services.
The 100% Burda subsidiary engages particularly in the research of native advertising. Through interviews, campaign-accompanying surveys and neuropsychological research methods, Knab and her team are continually working on improving the measurability, transparency and impact analysis of native advertising campaigns.
Stefanie Pfeiffer (United Kingdom) @followstefaniep
Stefanie has been working within digital marketing for nearly 15 years in smaller agencies from Google Ireland to a tech start-up in London. In the past six years, she helped German publishers to leverage Google AdSense Native Ads within their monetisation strategy before joining the Canadian HQ branded content tech start-up Polar, helping top publishers in EMEA such as Telegraph and Burda Forward to scale their premium branded content/native campaigns.
Stefanie currently works as a self-employed business development and digital marketing consultant while finishing the Executive MBA at Kellogg-WHU. Her motto with regards to advertising is “I’m a big believer in quality over quantity. Branded content and premium native advertising are in-line with the new sponsorship trend: it’s not just about adding a logo anymore on content, this is about connecting brand publishers with premium businesses to build strong partnerships. For this to happen, creative heads from publishers and advertising brands (or their agencies!) need to talk at a much earlier level to build a combined partnership strategy BEFORE talking numbers. Native advertising is in reality (digital) sponsorship (a strategic partnership!) of two brands, helping each other to achieve more together.”
Stephanie Himoff (United Kingdom) @shimoff
Stephanie Himoff is Managing Director Northern Europe at Outbrain, the world’s leading content discovery platform. Since joining in 2012, she has grown the business into a dominant market player in the native advertising space, building commercial relationships with leading publishers and advertisers to create a network that reaches 30 million unique visitors in the UK each month, and more than 1 billion globally.
Born in France, Stephanie has over 20 years of experience spearheading the growth of online businesses including San Francisco-based NetGuide Live and UK-based Alta Vista, DirectoryM and Pluck/Demand Media.
In recent years, Stephanie has championed personalised native content as the only way to drive true engagement and real business outcomes. She advocates that personalised one-to-one interactions with consumers in a trusted and native environment will cut through the noise in 2018, equipping marketers with the audience understanding they need for deep and lasting engagement.
Stephanie firmly believes that to build long-term relationships, marketers must embrace pull marketing tactics that draw people in based on their individual interests. “We know that consumers would rather get to know a brand through content versus ads,” she says. “They are more likely to trust a brand that is providing useful information rather than selling.”
Stephanie holds an MBA degree from the University of San Francisco and a Masters degree from the IÉSEG School of Management in France.
Stephanie Losee (USA) @slosee
Stephanie Losee is the Head of Content at Visa Corporate Communications. Her previous two roles were Head of Brand Content at POLITICO, where she launched the publication’s custom content studio, and Managing Editor of Dell, where she directed Dell’s editorial content strategy. Marketing Insider Group named her a Best Marketing Speaker of 2016 and The Holmes Report named her one of the Top 25 Innovators of 2015. She is a former writer at Fortune and editor at PC Magazine.
Stephanie Losee is Chairman of the Jury for the Native Advertising Awards, which are awarded every year at Native Advertising DAYS.
Stevie Stewart (United Kingdom)
Starting her career with one of the largest content providers in the UK – ITV, Stevie went on to amass a wealth of experience in the digital content and advertising space, including roles at large scale publishers Heart Magazines and Trinity Mirror.
Now heading up the UK effort for the Native Consultancy Avid Global Media, Stevie is focussed on creating deeper audience engagement for brands by distributing contextually relevant messaging to the right audience at the right time.
Stine Bjerre Herdel (Denmark) @StineBHerdel
Stine Bjerre Herdel has a solid background as journalist, editor and communications advisor (agency and freelance consultant). She has been part of developing a whole range of new media platforms in Denmark and has also developed content campaign solutions for both big and small brands over more than 15 years. Stine combines her journalistic toolbox with communication strategic experience from her many years as a consultant to develop native advertising that matches the well-educated, busy readers of one of Denmark’s largest business media companies, Børsen.
Stine Fosmark Mathiasen (Denmark) @StineFM
In her position as Head of Content & Creative at Benjamin_Creative, Stine is responsible for every piece of quality content the bureau creates for its many clients. Starting out as a journalist, Stine worked for years at various interior magazines, as well as editing the home and design sections of some of Denmark’s most-read daily papers.
Because of her strong will to develop and nurture projects from scratch, she has been on board Aller Media’s office of innovation. Here, she helped develop a lifestyle magazine for the Japanese market.
In recent years, Stine’s time has been spent on sponsored content and native advertising. She started this new journey as the editor of Native Advertising Institute’s blog, which she helped initiate.
Today, in her position at the fast growing content marketing bureau Benjamin_Creative, she produces content and native ads for a large and diverse group of clients — from big shopping malls to even bigger design brands.
Susan Borst (USA) @susanborst
Susan is the VP, Mobile at IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) located in NYC. She leads the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence and has oversight for the Mobile, Local, Social Media/Native/Content, B2B and Games committees as well as the AI working group.
She works with hundreds of digital publisher/technology providers to set guidelines and industry thought leadership. Susan was named as one of “15 People in NYC that are Changing Advertising That You Need to Know About” by Alley Watch, a “Top 50 Content Marketing Influencer at CM World 2016” by TopRank, and a “Top 50 Marketing Leaders Over 50” by Brand Watch.
She is on the judging jury for the Native Advertising Institute Awards, The Content Marketing Institute Awards and the Shorty Awards and is a frequent speaker at SXSW, iMedia Connect, Business Insider Ignition, Social Media Week and more.
Susanne Weller (Germany) @Susanneweller
Susanne Weller is a content strategist, communications expert and editor. She helps international companies and institutions in the fields of energy, food, science, health, digiconomy and adtech in developing and distributing meaningful content for sustainable conversations with their target groups.
Based on a deep analysis of both customer needs and brand purpose, she builds up a roadmap for unique, customised measures for audience-focused content. Her fully integrated, holistic approach supports companies to establish trust between the brand and its audience.
Tatjana Biallas (United Kingdom) @Taboola_Dach
As the Director of Media Sales at Taboola, Tatjana Biallas is heading up the growth of the DACH region, by helping advertisers distribute their content and reach new audiences through native advertising campaigns on publishers across the globe. Tatjana was the first media sales manager in the German team opening the market from scratch over 2.5 years ago. Today, the German team consists of more than 20 people.
Previously, Tatjana worked in branded content at CNBC International, partnering with brands such as Microsoft Cloud around the TV-production “1 Second in… F1 Racing”. Her media and sales career started over 10 years ago in Cologne, working for the largest German broadcaster, RTL Group, where she learned the basics of why content is king. She has degrees in business administration and media and communication from the City University of London.
Tatjana believes the key to a successful content marketing strategy is storytelling, understanding and addressing customer needs, as well as getting the moment right when a user discovers a story for the first time.
Tijana Pavlovic (Serbia)
Throughout the last 12 years as a digital professional, Tijana has had the pleasure of managing the development of some of the most significant publishing websites in Serbia since their establishment. Managing people and clients’ projects in advertising, she has gained a complete insight into digital strategies and brand communication from various industries.
In 2015, Tijana joined Ringier Axel Springer to lead a digital advertising team. Meanwhile, due to developing and upgrading the business, she was assigned to lead a newly formed team of Digital Service and Native Advertising, which is meant to be fully devoted to creating multichannel strategies for international clients.
The pioneering role as one of the first in the Serbian market was to develop and offer a special service of integrated models of communication through diversified websites and the social media portfolio of Ringier Axel Springer, providing great user experience for readers in order to achieve remarkable results for clients.
Tijana has been enjoying the challenges of the quick-changing industry, as it represents a vast field for discovering and researching new and innovative approaches to native advertising in order to match successfully the adapting character of customers’ habits and demands with clients’ requirements and goals. For Tijana, it has been a great pleasure to support clients’ businesses and see them improving and refining their activities through inspiring and precious engagement with an audience.
Tine Brødegaard Hansen (Denmark) @Broedegaard
Tine was an integral part of the first truly successful paid online news service in Denmark aimed at the media industry, which was relaunched with the backing of the largest Danish news media company, JP/Politikens Hus, in 2007.
Back then, most people in the industry still thought that attracting enough eyeballs for online content would generate enough advertising revenue to sustain the production of journalism.
In the years following the financial crisis in 2008, we all got a lot smarter and in Tine’s next endeavour as the digital editor in charge of bringing one of the oldest women’s weeklies to life online — both in terms of traffic and ad revenue — native advertising quickly became the name of the game. She participated in the development, as well as the production, of numerous native advertising pieces of content for all platforms — even print.
In her current role as Editor-in-Chief at the Native Advertising Institute, her burning passion for quality journalism and its survival, as well as the economic and technological aspects of the media industry, come together perfectly.
Tobi Elkin (USA) @TobiElkin
Tobi Elkin is Content Director at Impact Radius, a technology firm whose software platform helps marketers gain a single and transparent view of their entire marketing spend, identifies ad fraud, and tracks partner marketing programs. At her previous role as Editor of MediaPost Communications’ DigitalNewsDaily, she authored the Native Insider, a weekly column that reported on unique branded content programs and the people behind them, along with developments within native advertising. She served on NAI’s awards jury in 2016 and 2017.
Tobi has spent most of her career as a writer, editor, and interviewer with deep experience reporting on the business of digital marketing, media, and advertising. She has also worked for eMarketer as Director of Market Insights and Advertising Age.
In 2016-2017, Tobi was selected as an Amtrak Writer-in-Residence and produced an award-winning short film, “Train People,” inspired by her cross-country rail experience. The film was screened in more than a dozen film festivals in the U.S. and abroad in 2017.
Tracy Fitzgerald (Australia) @tracyfitzg
Tracy Fitzgerald is a Sydney -based entrepreneur running a content marketing and social media agency (Brandalism). Tracy has grown the business from scratch a t a rate of nearly 250% a year and has earned the company a place on the Australian Financial Review list of 100 fastest growing new companies in Australia. This makes it one of the fastest growing new digital agencies in Australia.
Tracy has a nearly 10-year background in content marketing and was also a founding staff member of King Content – a pioneering agency in the content marketing space, which grew from just two people to well over 100, with offices around the globe.
Before this, Tracy worked in publishing as an editor in both the UK and Dubai and has a passion for storytelling. She’s taken this passion into the business world and says that the most enjoyable part of her work is mixing this creativity with strategy and helping businesses create content that is meaningful and effective.
Tracy has big expansion plans for Brandalism and is currently looking at opportunities in both Dubai and Europe – but for her, it’s all about the experience and sharing the wild business ride with her team.
Valérie Salomon (France) @SalomonValerie
Valérie is the President of the French Lagardère Publicité, the audiovisual and press ad sales houses of the Lagardère group. With close to 100 media supports (Lagardère Group and external publishers), Lagardère Publicité is a major player in the French advertising market.
Vivi Wallin (Sweden)
Vivi is currently working as Head of Native Advertising at Metro Sverige, one of the largest media houses in Sweden. Here, she is responsible for native advertising on all platforms — both on a creative and a commercial level.
Prior employment includes Spoon, Brand Publishing and lots of freelance assignments for large corporations as well as media houses.
Moreover, Vivi is an entrepreneurial content strategist with a focus on digital. She has worked in editorial departments, in-house departments and agency environments in several capacities. A strong creative background and keen interest in storytelling, native advertising, strategy and planning has led to many successful client assignments.
She has helped brands express their DNA through storytelling in magazines, social media channels and digital platforms. Vivi has also founded, and is currently running, several social media verticals on multiple platforms (all together over 120K followers). Her own media house also includes blogs and an e-commerce site. So far she has built successful native advertising partnerships with large corporate clients such as Mondelez, Cloetta, Panduro, Fazer and Arla.
Yvonne Beister (Germany) @Yvonne_BILDde
Yvonne Beister is Head of Axel Springer Brand Studio Editorial at BILD, Germany’s leading media company. She is located in Berlin and responsible for the native advertising unit at BILD, which was founded in early 2016.
Prior to her current role at BILD, Yvonne was in charge of the entertainment department of BILD newspaper and BILD and also headed the BILD-News-Office in Los Angeles. In 2009, she won the axel-springer-award for young journalists. In 2016, the unit was honoured with the Native Advertising Award for her multichannel campaign for the online food deliverer All You Need Fresh.
Yvonne Schröder (Germany)
Yvonne Schröder is a content strategist with over 20 years’ experience as a journalist.
After working for the FAZ and completing her master’s degree in journalism, she continued her career at Sportswear International in New York and for Visa Magazine in Vienna, and then moved to Berlin four years ago.
In these past four years, she has worked for die Zeit, Houzz.com and C3 before joining Trust Agents as the Teamlead for content marketing.
Yvonne is a storyteller who is always thinking about the holistic strategy for her clients. Her concepts include SEO, seeding, social media and performance marketing. Her content marketing strategies combine target group analyses with empathy maps, a fundamental knowledge of research (trends and market development), UX, as well as a specific know-how about how to tell a story in an emotional way. Her vision is to support big online players with the challenges of digital communication in the here and now.
And the future for her is female, of course.
Zoe Harris (United Kingdom) @InventionZoe
Having quickly realised (when working as a holiday rep), that free drinks on tap may not be the best grounding for a career choice, Zoe left the sunny climes of Corfu for her first ‘proper’ job at The Guardian. Finding a true love of media, she went on to launch the new ITV website before moving to Hearst magazines to successfully launch new weekly titles.
As Marketing & On-air Director at MTV, she set about re-asserting MTV as the ultimate youth entertainment brand with the proposition ‘for the excesses of youth’. This led to the commissioning of Geordie Shore, now in its tenth season, and record ratings for the channel.
Following a stint agency side at WCRS as lead strategist on Sky, Zoe is now Group Marketing Director at Trinity Mirror, where she heads up marketing, analytics, insight and corp comms across many power newsbrands, working closely with editors to ensure advertisers and consumers alike understand and value their unique place in increasingly fragmented media markets.
In her spare time, Zoe runs Stockwell Girl Guide Unit and can tie a mean reef knot. She is also proud to be a Trustee of Girl Guiding UK.
Want to meet some of these amazing women?
Join us at Native Advertising DAYS in Berlin, November 6th-8th where we’ll present several significant women on stage: Fara Warner, Stephanie Losee, Melanie Deziel, Anna Arvidsson, Ricki Petrine and Mary Gail Pezzimenti.
Get your ticket now and read more here