Former Agency Leader Will Drive Strategy, Growth and Operational Excellence for Digital Trade Association; Will Bring the Entire Marketing-Media Ecosystem Together
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced that David Cohen has been named President, the number two position at the influential digital marketing and media trade association, where he will focus on strategy, growth, and operational excellence. He will assume the role effective April 1, 2020, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Randall Rothenberg. Cohen is a widely respected advertising agency leader who, most recently, served as President, North America for MAGNA, Interpublic Group’s (IPG) centralized media intelligence, investment, and innovation arm.
“David has been part of the digital marketing sector since its inception and has been instrumental in building organizations responsible for purchasing billions of dollars of digital media inventory annually. He brings not only a strong understanding of where our business is today, but where it is going and what’s necessary for it to thrive,” said IAB CEO Rothenberg. “His analytical abilities, persuasiveness, and client focus have been proven time and again. He has been deeply involved in almost every major IAB-led industry initiative, notably the Standard Terms and Conditions for Internet Advertising negotiations, and the Making Measurement Make Sense initiative (3Ms). David’s unique capabilities will help us dramatically increase our brand, agency, and publisher presence across all IAB activities, bringing all key stakeholders to the table. As a top member of the leadership team, he will continue to evolve IAB’s critical programs and events to advance our ability to set the agenda for digital marketing and media stakeholders.”
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Troy Young, President of Hearst Magazines and Chairman of the IAB Board of Directors, said: “Balancing the complex and sometimes opposing forces inside our industry requires a deep appreciation for the strategic, technical, and public drivers of our ecosystem. David brings this in spades as an industry pioneer with years of perspective in media agency leadership roles. His knowledge and expertise are a huge addition to IAB and will strengthen our ability to lead the industry through this time of immense change.”
Cohen’s primary objectives will be to build more meaningful connections among publishers, brands, and agencies, increase IAB membership, and ensure the organization continues to serve as a central force for collaboration, agenda-setting, and leadership in the industry. He will oversee market-leading thought leadership in the evolving video and cross-screen measurement and attribution space. In addition, Cohen will be responsible for guiding IAB’s event strategy, ensuring that IAB gatherings educate, inspire, and lead the digital marketing and media sector.
Cohen will also work with Dennis Buchheim, President, IAB Tech Lab, to better connect both organizations’ activities, create more consistent solutions, and drive greater adoption of industry standards for brand safety, privacy, programmatic advertising, video, and other critical publisher, brand, and agency functions.
Together, Cohen and Buchheim also will supervise IAB’s advancing role in Project Rearc, an industry-wide initiative to bring together stakeholders across the digital advertising and media supply chain to harmonize the value of privacy, personalization, and community, and make the internet a better place for consumers.
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“The continued growth of a vibrant ad-supported marketing ecosystem requires vision, collaboration, and the technical knowledge necessary to execute,” said David Cohen. “IAB has set the agenda for the digital ecosystem since its inception, and there has never been a more important time to assure that insights, thought leadership, and expertise are working toward a common goal. I am extraordinarily excited about the opportunity and look forward to working collaboratively with the industry to realize our collective potential.”
Cohen is a Queens native, with a bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University, whose 21-year career at IPG included senior roles at both MAGNA and Universal McCann (UM). As President, North America for MAGNA, he “re-architected” the division’s Investment, Intelligence, and Innovation practices, and was responsible for more than $20 billion in media spend. He has structured and executed large global transactions on behalf of IPG and its clients, with such major IAB member companies as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Spotify, Twitter, and Verizon Media.
Prior to MAGNA, Cohen served as Chief Investment Officer of UM, ensuring that digital innovation, data, and technology acumen flowed throughout the agency to drive performance. From 2001 to 2011, Cohen served in critical, transformational roles at UM during the explosive growth of digital advertising, including Chief Media Officer, Chief Digital Officer, and Executive Vice President, U.S. Director of Digital Communications. In the late 1990’s, Cohen was responsible for launching and building IPG’s digital practice. He was named a “Media All Star” by Adweek and was part of the “Adweek 50” in 2012.
Cohen has a long history of working with trade organizations including IAB and 4As, where he served as chairman of the Interactive Marketing Committee. He has also been instrumental in initiating several vital industry-wide programs, including the cross-industry video initiative currently being facilitated by EY.
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“David Cohen was one of the first digital agency executives I met when I took this job 14 years ago – an original ‘digital native’ in a discipline that was still finding its way,” Rothenberg continued. “He was fiercely determined to find value on behalf of his clients, and equally fierce in his determination to educate colleagues and competitors alike about the best practices. That’s the David Cohen I’ve known for 14 years – a perfect balance of competitiveness and civic mindedness – who will make sure that digital marketing thrives as we enter a period of great change.”
Cohen will succeed Patrick Dolan, who served IAB for 13 years, and was a key leader responsible for IAB’s dramatic growth. Dolan will continue to serve as a strategic advisor through 2020.
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