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Marketing Pioneers, Digitally Native Brand Innovators, Entrepreneurs & Digital Media Executives Convene in Palm Desert for the 2018 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting Themed How to Build a 21st Century Brand

Three-Day Powerhouse Conference Will Bring Together Top Industry Leaders To Explore What It Takes to Survive and Thrive in the Emerging Direct Brand Economy

PALM DESERT, CA (February 11, 2018) —The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) kicked off the 2018 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting today at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, CA, setting the stage for three-days of agenda-setting discussions and debates on the most pressing issues faced by today’s brand and media executives. Themed “How to Build a 21st Century Brand,” this year’s program will feature main stage sessions that will tackle and explore what it takes for brands, publishers, and their partners to excel in the flourishing direct brand economy.

Tonight’s opening sessions will feature innovators and direct-to-consumer trailblazers Henry Davis, President and COO, Glossier, and Meredith Guerriero, U.S. Head of Partnerships, Pinterest, as they dive into what it takes to create brand authenticity in an age where customers are increasingly product loyal—including insights and more from Adlandia podcast hosts Alexa Christon and Laura Correnti. Later in the conference, Jen Rubio, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer, Away, will also take the stage to discuss how the direct-to-consumer travel company has created content and experiences that are redefining what it means to connect with today’s consumers. In addition, a full slate of prominent leaders across brand marketing, media agencies, technology, creative and publishing arenas will take the stage. Those include:

  • Janet Balis, Partner, Global Advisory Leader for Media and Entertainment, EY
  • Richard Bush, Chief Product and Technology Officer, NYIAX
  • Jeffrey Cole, Director, Center for the Digital Future, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
  • Colleen DeCourcy, Chief Creative Officer, Wieden+Kennedy
  • Randy Freer, Chief Executive Officer, Hulu
  • Freada Kapor Klein, Co-Founder, Project Include; Partner, Kapor Center for Social Impact
  • Liza Landsman, President,
  • Jim Lecinski, Vice President, Customer Solutions, Google
  • Will Luttrell, Founder and CEO, Amino Payments
  • Brian O’Kelley, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, AppNexus
  • Ellen Pao, Co-Founder, Project Include; Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Kapor Center for Social Impact
  • Scott Schiller, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Marketing, Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal
  • Leonid Sudakov, President of Connected Solutions, Mars Petcare
  • Doug Weaver, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Upstream Group, Inc.
  • Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever
  • Mark Wright, Vice President, Media and Sponsorships, AT&T

“The 2018 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting is positioned yet again to deliver what decision-makers from the C-suite to the board rooms alike are seeking—thoughtful, intimate, and direct conversations that address timely issues from consumer marketing and data-enriched strategies to diversity and inclusion,” said Randall Rothenberg, CEO, IAB. “The year’s agenda will hold true to its reputation as a cornerstone marketplaces and dive deep into the marketing, data, and organization strategies needed to stay on top and compete among new entrants in the 21st century marketplace.”

Along with the return of its thought-provoking mainstage presentations and interactive Town Halls, the 2018 Annual Leadership Meeting agenda will introduce a newly curated series of Master Classes taught by practiced industry veterans in partnership with the accredited IAB Learning and Certification team, intended to provide participants with the practical tools and information needed to succeed in the digital economy. Also included, will be the second round of IAB Leadership Dialogues designed to deliver intimate conversations on hot button issues from the perspective of business, culture, and technology provocateurs who are pioneering the industry.

For those who can’t attend, IAB will be providing video highlights of stage presentations throughout the event at For more information or to view event recaps and summaries following the event, visit

About IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. It is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. Together, they account for 86 percent of online advertising in the United States. Working with its member companies, the IAB develops technical standards and best practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. The organization is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the IAB advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City and has a West Coast office in San Francisco.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]