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From the CEO

A Heartfelt Thank You. See you on the front lines.


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Three years ago I began an inspiring journey as CEO and President of the ARF. Accepting that role fulfilled a personal calling to make my mark on an industry I care about so deeply.

I can’t thank you enough for your commitment as members, which is so important for this organization now and in the future. It is gratifying to take stock of the foundation we’ve built under our Board Chairs, Colleen Fahey Rush of Viacom and David Poltrack of CBS Corp. We look forward to the ARF’s incredible potential in the years ahead under incoming Board Chair, Univision’s Jed Meyer.

My term as CEO and President will be until the end of October. A formal search for my successor is already underway, holding promise for a smooth transition. You can be sure that in my continued role as change-agent and network orchestrator, I will be a devoted advocate to each of you and to the industry at large.

Leading the ARF has been the chance of a lifetime to build on the legacy of this organization now in its 80th year—and to pursue the mission of my career: to bring the voice of the consumer to the C-suite; to strengthen the credibility of the insights and analytics community; and to connect all of the moving parts at a critical time when collaboration is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.

It was clear that the industry needed the ARF to deliver better, relevant, quantified facts that translated into growth opportunities. And the job from which I had just retired–Global Insights and Analytics executive, capping 32 years at General Mills–had grounded me for this new role.

Together with my terrific Team ARF, we focused on expanding a global and diverse network of leaders, establishing a West Coast Chapter to enlarge our U.S. footprint. We traveled the world, illuminating the ARF’s presence across continents. Lifting up the next generation, we created our signature Young Pros, Women in Analytics, Make Your Mark Mentoring, and Leadership Lab programs. Our flagship Journal of Advertising Research sparkles under new editorial leadership.

And, thanks to support from the ARF Board of Directors, we showcase our world-class Innovation Team, whose brilliant work has culminated in the creation of quantified, original, objective and actionable “How Advertising Works Today” initiatives. These “Ground Truth” experiments define investment roadmaps for cross-platform marketing and advertising; apply neuroscience to the creation of effective creative; and establish mobile analytics methodologies to build a strong foundation of research quality. The results are measurable, providing the opportunity for an additional $31 billion to be invested in research.

It has been an honor to serve you at this spectacular time of change and opportunity. I look forward to our continued relationship and encourage you to be part of this greater mission: to invest in brand building across platforms; to accelerate new approaches translating big data into meaningful insights and analytics; and to explore new solutions for driving sales growth across a wide range of industries.

See you on the front lines,

Gayle Fuguitt