We’re asking member-agency CEOs, creative leaders, strategists, media execs, futurists and new business gurus to answer the same five questions about the state of the ad industry in our 5 Questions for … series. Here Firstborn CEO Dan LaCivita shares his views. LaCivita joined Firstborn in 2003 as a Flash developer. From there he worked his way steadily through the ranks as an executive producer, SVP and ultimately, to President before being named CEO in April 2015.
1) What’s the biggest challenge or opportunity facing the ad industry right now?
As brands trend toward always-on programming and attempt to cover more ground with their marketing dollars, agencies are, more than ever, being given the opportunity to create with partners willing to take risks and try new things.
2) What is the single most significant change you need to make in your agency in the next 12 months?
We need to establish the right structure and mix of talent that provide the flexibility to work in this diversified landscape, but ensure we don’t become a jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none.
3) What products/services/unique skills do ad agencies offer that guarantee the industry’s survival for another 100 years?
The agency structure is fundamentally designed to pull innovation, ideas and inspiration across categories and culture, so agencies will always be able to provide a unique outsider’s perspective to those within a specific brand or vertical.
4) What attributes do you look for in your next generation of leaders/managers?
We’re a culture of thinkers and makers, so we’re always looking for a thirst for curiosity and the drive to question the status quo.
5) If you weren’t working in advertising, what would you be doing as a career?
I’ve been studying and performing the art of close-up magic my entire life. So I would perhaps pursue that … or take up my new love of barrel-aging spirits and create a product line around that.