The Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) has named Anna Bager, Executive Vice President of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), as its new President & CEO.
Bager’s takes over in mid-September from Nancy Fletcher, who ran the organization for 29 years, and announced earlier this year she was retiring.
Bager is a seasoned, cross-platform media executive with a clear vision for advancing OOH advertising in today’s omnichannel landscape. During her more than eight-year tenure at IAB, Bager led all digital, mobile, video, and data industry initiatives representing more than 650 member companies, including megabrands like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Disney, and Microsoft.
At IAB, Bager was also responsible for market research, media measurement, and thought leadership; she partnered with IAB’s public policy team in Washington to advocate on critical issues like brand safety and consumer privacy; and she led the Digital Content Newfronts and the Podcast Upfronts, which significantly advanced the premium video and digital audio advertising marketplaces.
Sean Reilly, OAAA Chairman of the Board and CEO of Lamar Advertising Company said, “We are thrilled that Anna Bager is taking the helm at OAAA. In addition to her experience helping to lead such a well-respected media trade association, Anna’s expertise in mobile, data, measurement, and programmatic is the perfect fit for the future of our industry. I’m looking forward to working closely with Anna to advance OOH.”
Anna Bager said, “OOH advertising is at an all-time high – as mobile, social, and smart data all work together in real life to make OOH more powerful. OOH is a medium that advertisers crave, agencies want to work with, and consumers love. I am excited and honored to join OAAA at this critical time.”
Bager continued, “Like digital advertising five or six years ago, OOH is at a pivotal point in its trajectory. I’m looking forward to applying many of the lessons I’ve learned at IAB to help grow OOH into a bigger, stronger, and more integrated player in advertising.”
Bager’s hire reflects OAAA’s vision to become more digitally focused and to make OOH a core player in the omnichannel media marketplace. In its effort to get closer to advertisers and agencies, Bager will be based in New York City and will divide her time between OAAA headquarters in Washington, DC and a newly opened satellite office in New York.
Bager was selected after an extensive six-month search by a committee comprised of Sean Reilly, CEO of Lamar Advertising Company; Ari Buchalter, CEO of Intersection; Jean-Luc Decaux, Co-CEO of JCDecaux North America; Kevin Gleason, CEO of Adams Outdoor; Jeremy Male, CEO of OUTFRONT Media; Patrick O’Donnell, President of YESCO Outdoor Media; William Reagan, CEO of Reagan Outdoor Advertising; and Scott Wells, CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas. Nancy Fletcher, OAAA President & CEO Emeritus, played a non-evaluative role and will stay on through the end of 2019 to help with the leadership transition.
The search was conducted by Lee Rafkin of strategic advisory firm Rafkin & Company, and was informed by leadership succession research conducted with industry leaders in 2018.
Ari Buchalter, CEO of Intersection said, “Anna Bager’s experience driving the growth of digital will help OOH integrate more fully with the rest of the media ecosystem. We wanted a leader who could build on OAAA’s past successes, while aligning the industry around a common vision of asset digitization, programmatic execution, and data. Anna is that leader, and we’re excited to welcome her to OAAA.”
Scott Wells, CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas said, “Anna Bager is the right person to help OOH successfully navigate its digital future. She brings a terrific mix of industry association leadership, commercial savvy, and positive energy. I’m excited to see Anna take on this role.”
William Reagan, OAAA Chairman of the Board Emeritus and CEO of Reagan Outdoor Advertising, said, “Anna has experience working in Washington to protect the rights of media owners. I am confident she will be a strong and effective advocate for the OOH industry.”
Jean-Luc Decaux, Co-CEO of JCDecaux North America said, “OOH has become more digital, more measurable, and more data-driven. Given Anna’s outstanding track record at IAB, she is well positioned to lead the OOH industry to an even stronger and more innovative future.”
Patrick O’Donnell, President of YESCO Outdoor Media, said, “Anna Bager is an innovative media veteran with a clear understanding of the challenges facing our industry. As an independent media owner, I know the future of this industry is digital, and Anna’s experience in data, measurement, and programmatic is precisely aligned with the future of our business.”
Kevin Gleason, CEO of Adams Outdoor, said, “As we embark on a critical leadership transition at OAAA, I am excited to welcome Anna Bager, and I look forward to partnering with her on the next exciting chapter in the evolution of OOH.”
Jeremy Male, CEO of OUTFRONT Media said, “After Nancy Fletcher’s successful 29-year run, Anna Bager has very big shoes to fill. But, she is definitely up to the challenge. Beyond her impressive resume, Anna brings great people skills, strong character, and the ability to rally people around a common cause. OAAA is lucky to have found Anna Bager to fill this critical post.”
Nancy Fletcher, OAAA President & CEO Emeritus said, “I’ve had the pleasure to get to know Anna Bager, and I am confident she is the right person at the right time to lead OAAA and the OOH industry into the future. I am delighted to pass the baton to Anna.”
A native of Sweden, Anna lives with her husband Erik and their two daughters in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. Prior to the IAB, Bager held management positions at the mobile telecom company Ericsson in Stockholm and the global research firm IDC in London. Anna is a graduate of Lund University in Lund, Sweden.
She was named one of the 30 most powerful women in mobile advertising by Business Insider six years in a row; one of the top women in media by Folio magazine four times; and one of the top women in digital advertising by Cynopsis Media three times. When not working, Anna enjoys skiing and sailing with her family and speaks four languages.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.