In 2017, why do you think it’s still necessary to talk about opportunities for women in the industry, and how women are portrayed in advertising?
Whether it’s 2017, or 100 years from now, I don’t believe there is ever a time we should say, “Our work here is done.” If 25 years in marketing have taught me anything, it’s that things change. Are things the same as when I first started? No. Can we do better? Undoubtedly, yes. Progress, especially social progress, occurs only when people are willing to challenge the status quo and ignite a conversation. It’s when we stop talking or asking if something can be done better that we fall short of our potential.
Do you think women, people of color, LGBTQ and people with disabilities face similar issues in the ad industry?
Yes, in that all people deemed as part of a minority—whether it be by gender, race, sexual orientation or ability—are subject to discrimination. However, I do also believe that the exact nature, form and/or experience of bias, implicit or explicit, is very personal and specific to the individual.
What advice would you give to a 20-year-old woman on succeeding in the advertising industry?
If I could go back and talk to a 20-year-old version of myself, I would probably have about a thousand things to say to her, but my top three would probably be:
- Be prepared to fail, but also take each failure as a chance to learn from your mistakes.
- Determine what you want to be, have and do—and be persistent and focused.
- Take time to enjoy your life.
Would you want your daughter to pursue a career in advertising? If not, why not?
Of course, but only if it were truly what she wanted to do and she had a passion for it. Advertising isn’t for everyone. You really have to like not knowing what will come next and be comfortable with the fact that the current way you do things may need to change to fit new industry standards.
What did you do to survive and thrive in advertising?
Surviving at anything, starts with a self-determination to always be and do better for yourself and others. Creating value for my clients has always been my primary focus, and it is this commitment to consumer-driven, strategic marketing and digital campaigns that has allowed me to accelerate growth for both Millennium and its clients.
Linda A. Fanaras, President & Strategist
Linda A. Fanaras is the President and Founder of Millennium Integrated Marketing, an award-winning data-driven branding, creative strategy and digital and public relations firm in Manchester, New Hampshire and Boston. She holds board positions with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), and Business and Industry Association. For more information, contact Linda Fanaras at Lfanaras@mill-im.com or (603)792-2200. You can also reach her through LinkedIn.