August 3, 2021


Meet Lisa Sherman, President & CEO, Ad Council

When becoming President & CEO of Ad Council, Lisa Sherman brought together her media and marketing experience with her desire to make an impact on the culture by using the power of communication to create real, lasting change. Learn more about her and her inspiring work in our newest feature.

For those who don’t know you, tell us a little about your background.

Before the Ad Council, I was at Viacom, where I launched and led Logo TV, the first cable network for LGBTQ audiences. I also spent time at Verizon and Hill Holliday, and I co-founded the Women’s Sports Network. 

I was thrilled to join the Ad Council in 2014—I always say that when I got the call about the role, it was like a light bulb went on over my head. It brought together my media and marketing experience with my desire to make an impact on the culture by using the power of communication to create real, lasting change. I truly love coming to work every day, and I tell anyone who will listen that I have the best job on the planet.

What are you most looking forward to about reviewing Anthem Awards entries?

America has gone through seismic changes over the last year, and every day I am blown away by the brilliant, creative and heartfelt ways that people respond. I truly believe that authentic work has the power to make a difference, and I honestly can’t wait to get started.

What does it take for a project or campaign to cause real-world change?

We always say that we have to meet people where they are. The Ad Council has been around since WWII, and this method has proven to be successful over and over again—never more than right now. Unfortunately, we live in a very polarized climate, where nearly every aspect of our lives has become politicized and misinformation runs rampant. It can be difficult for people to agree on simple, basic facts. This means that when we try to reach someone with information they need, if our message comes across as preachy or condescending or inauthentic, they shut down right away—they’re in no place to receive what it is we have to say. So meeting people where they are isn’t just an empathetic approach, it’s an effective one. Of course, it takes a lot of work and a lot of collaboration to get that right.

How does your work at The Ad Council support your mission?

I feel incredibly lucky to be able to surround myself with people who are constantly asking how they can make the world a better place, and constantly bringing innovative ideas about how we can work together, build new bridges, and make it happen. I mean, what could be better than that?

Bonus: What’s your favorite purpose-driven project or mission-driven campaign right now, and why?

Well, I have to shout out every member of my team and the 300-plus partners on our COVID-19 vaccine education initiative, which is by far the biggest undertaking in the Ad Council’s history. We are working closely with public health experts, brands, tech companies, media, faith-based groups, business organizations, sports leagues, neighborhood pharmacists—I could go on and on. The level of coordination, the dedication to the cause, the way people keep showing up to offer their time and resources, the care and empathy everyone brings to the work every single day…it’s been nothing short of incredible.