Brian Sheehan to BICsters: Advertising is More Exciting NOW than Ever

4/03/2018 Unknown 0 Comments


Joking that he was the happy counter-balance to BIC Professor Michael Farmer’s book Madison Avenue Manslaughter which details business practices that are currently undermining the industry, BIC welcomed Syracuse Professor and former CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Brian Sheehan to campus in March. He gave students an inspiring presentation on why the best time to be in the advertising business is right now. "It's more exciting than ever," he said. "When I was getting started, the number of media choices could be counted on your hand."

His thesis is based on the fact that “always on” consumers and their seemingly endless choices of media have forced the industry to up its game. In a recent Adweek article, Sheehan states that “unlike the early days of electronic media, consumers are now engaged with media throughout the entire day, from the moment we wake until the moment we go to bed. When do you turn on your first screen of the day? When do you turn off your last? If you are like most people, the very first second of the day and the very last second. Most millennials sleep within arm’s length of their cellphones.” Referring to a current project that Professor Farmer's class was working on, Sheehan confirmed the need for strong agency leadership: "Clients have no idea how complex a project really is."

Prior to his switch to academia in 2008, Sheehan spent 25 years with Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising. After five years in S&S’s New York headquarters, he spent the next 11 years overseas, working in S&S Hong Kong, and as CEO of S&S Japan and S&S Australia. He then spent nine years as chairman and CEO of Team One Advertising in Los Angeles (a division of Saatchi & Saatchi).

Sheehan publishes regularly in Advertising Age and Adweek, and has published articles in peer-reviewed advertising journals, including the Journal of Advertising Research.