Per my last email...

We're still down in Phoenix, AZ with a large contingent of the ad industry's media and finance teams. So no, you won't be getting a copy of your signed scope of work this week.

Travis Lusk
Travis Lusk

As the sun rose on the second day of the ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference, the atmosphere was charged with a blend of anticipation for the day’s insights and the lingering hangover essence of last night’s after-hours “festivities.”

The agenda promised an assembly of thought leaders, each prepared to share their wisdom and dissect the future of marketing, AI, alternative compensation, and more.

So, let's delve into Day 2, including the highlights of keen wit and insight.

The future does not fit in the containers of the past. - Rishad Tobaccowala

Mark Penn, Stagwell

Mark Penn, Stagwell's Chairman and CEO, kicked off the day with a keynote address that captivated the room. He explored the untapped potential of AI for verbal content, giving the audience a glimpse into the future of advertising.

Penn identified the marketing cloud and media studio as key growth areas for the company, attempting to position Stagwell as a formidable competitor to more traditional agencies. With a track record of advising world leaders, Penn's future vision left the audience wanting more.

Brian Nowak and the Wall Street Perspective

The energy in the room shifted as Brian Nowak, Morgan Stanley's Managing Director, stepped up to the podium. He shared his insights on the tech and digital ad sector, giving the audience a bird's-eye view of the industry's landscape.

Nowak's analysis of behemoths like Amazon, Google, and Meta brought clarity to the complex world of advertising finance. The attendees were treated to an exhilarating journey through the financial lens of advertising's movers and shakers.

TL;DR - AI is going to change literally everything, including Nowak’s future as a financial writer and analyst. However, he does not believe “skynet” is anywhere in the immediate future. Whew.

The 4A's/ANA Alternative Compensation Model Task Force

Mollie Rosen (4A's), Michael Asaro (WPP), Mark Penn (Stagwell), Denis Budniewski (Verizon), Amol Chopra (Travelers), and Richard Tan (FIG) joined forces in a panel discussion to address the pressing issue of modernizing agency compensation models.

The task force aims to develop alternative models that benefit both brands and agencies, paving the way for a brighter, more profitable future. The lively debate and exchange of ideas left the audience contemplating the evolution of agency-brand relationships.

The panel previewed the fact that their compensation model report will touch on a variety of frameworks in an attempt to cover a variety of business needs.

There were a number of helpful responses during the Q&A portion of the session. For example, Budniewski said he only negotiates with the agency's CEO. He isn’t interested in a protracted, months-long back and forth to get something mutually agreeable.

“I only want to negotiate with the person that has the ability to say yes,” said Budniewski.

Asaro cautioned that legacy business models are unlikely to meet the needs of the modern marketer in the future. He quoted Rishad Tobaccowala saying “The future does not fit in the containers of the past.”

David Hale, T-Mobile

David Hale, Director of Marketing and Supply Chain Procurement at T-Mobile, dropped some pearls of wisdom on the audience during an on-stage interview.

Hale emphasized that the advertising world is fundamentally a relationship-based business. He explained T-Mobile's approach to taking certain operational aspects in-house, while continuing to work with specialized agencies for tasks requiring high talent levels.

In a rather candid moment, Hale revealed that his team didn't ask for permission to “do” their roles. Instead, they earned their place in the conversation with the company's top marketers. This is the sort of boldness that more procurement teams need to take.

The telecom giant is no stranger to collaboration, and Hale highlighted the massive collaborative effort that was the T-Mobil + Sprint merger.

T-Mobile also views consultancies as extensions of its teams, showcasing their belief in leveraging external expertise when needed.


The second day of the ANAAFM Conference provided a masterclass in procurement best practice. The advertising procurement world's best and brightest came together, sharing their insights and painting a picture of the industry's future. For everyone in attendance, it was an experience that left them feeling inspired and ready to embrace the challenges ahead.

Did you miss yesterday’s recap?

Out of Office: Your procurement team

Travis Lusk • May 2, 2023

If you were wondering where your media procurement and finance teams were this week when all your emails bounced back with “out of office” notifications, it is probably because they were down in Phoenix. Industry insiders gathered to hear from business leaders, CMO’s, and financial management professionals around the industry.

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Travis Lusk Twitter

Opinionated digital advertising practitioner, consultant for Fortune 100 Brands, and writer at