The “one-stop-shop” model of major advertising holding agencies no longer reigns king. With the promise of unique perspectives, rapid speed and an intimacy not found at larger shops, Indie and Boutique agencies have become increasingly attractive to brands and talent.
Join Adweek to hear insights from independent agency leaders on the unique value and experience being offered, the importance of maintaining a creative spirit and resilience, and how to keep pace in an industry that’s constantly evolving.

Featured Speakers

Madonna Badger
Founder and Chief Creative Officer

Julian Baring
Regional President, Americas

Liz Baxter
Director, Local

Charlie Betcher
Director, Advanced TV Sales

Jeffrey Buntin Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer

Jonathan Conway
Chief Operating Officer

Asmirh Davis
Chief Strategy Officer and Founding Partner

Steve Erich
Founder and President

Josh Fajardo
Director of Media Strategy

Bob Kantor
Chief Executive Officer

Marla Kaplowitz
Chief Executive Officer

Bill Lederer
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Brian Rappaport
Chief Executive Officer

Mo Said
Founder and Creative Director

Julia Shapiro
Vice President, Marketing

Timothy Simko
Executive Vice President Client Lead

Aubrey Walker
Executive Creative Director

Deacon Webster
Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer

Eden Zeilo
Director of Global Brand Marketing

+ more to be announced shortly!

Agenda Overview

12:00 PM — 12:05 PM ET

Adweek Opening Remarks

Welcoming remarks and a look at the event.


Matt Steinmetz, Vice President, Event Partnerships, Adweek





12:05 PM — 12:25 PM ET

Why Indie Agencies Must Be Brave

Speed, passion and collaboration are successful ingredients for any indie agency but for Madonna, it truly is about the work and its impact on making our worlds, big and small, better than we found it: more brave, more filled with Love and Hope and Light, more dedicated to values we believe in.

To get there, now is the time for the indie agency community to be brave. Be brave in the face of adversity and uncertainty. How we weather the storm will not depend on size – it is how we are built. Now more than ever indie agency brands need to be brave through action, not intention. Madonna will share perspective on how indies can flourish in our cut-throat, creative and competitive industry and the role we can play in creating not only brave and compassionate content, but brave and compassionate workplaces. Growth is measured in efforts toward gender parity, diversity and inclusion that are tangible in the work we do, the clients we work with and the employees we attract.


Madonna Badger, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Badger & Winters





12:30 PM — 12:50 PM ET

How to Maximize Your Digital Marketing Investment by Harnessing Untapped Incrementality

Incrementality should be the objective of any marketing investment - maximizing reach for your marketing dollars. The sophisticated modern marketer is always seeking methods to drive incremental reach from their media. However, third-party cookie deprecation in Safari in 2017 and Firefox in 2019 effectively limited targeting and measurement, and therefore an understanding of how to reach these users. Considering the looming changes with Chrome, this session will provide tangible evidence of the steps that marketers can take now to address these challenges and deliver incremental, effective results for their brands.

Attend this session and learn:

  • How marketers can address the Wanamaker cliche amidst third party cookie deprecation and iOS 14.5 changes
  • How marketers can tap into existing, sophisticated capabilities to address challenges in reaching Safari and Firefox users while still being compliant with privacy and other regulation
  • How marketers can manage the status quo and drive incremental reach and results for the media spend


Julian Baring, Regional President, Americas, Adform
Bill Lederer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, iSOCRATES





12:55 PM — 1:15 PM ET

The Modern Marketing Model with Dawn CEO Bob Kantor

Advertising is one of the most disruptive industries in the world, with brands and agency partners constantly striving to keep pace with consumer behavior. With this change, it's time to reimagine the traditional holding company structure and build a new model for specialty agencies that aim to scale while maintaining their independent edge. Combining the strengths of specialty agencies within a collaborative network provides a new paradigm that offers the benefit of centralized data and measurement, premier specialists, and efficient global localization.

In this session, Dawn CEO Bob Kantor will offer his insights into how the agency network is meeting the modern needs of brands while providing opportunities for talented agencies to thrive and meet their full potential. The conversation will specifically explore how Dawn’s talented portfolio is informed by centralized data science and the impetus for marketers of moving beyond the holding agency model to a more modern approach.


Bob Kantor, Chief Executive Officer, Dawn Modern Marketing
Kyle O'Brien, Agencies Reporter, Adweek





1:20 PM — 1:40 PM ET

The Appeal of Culturally Relevant Content

The music video is a universal genre of entertainment that is ubiquitous across CTV and OTT platforms. Through this premium content experience, Vevo allows agencies and brands to align with the rapid growth and cultural relevance of music videos in the living room.

Join Vevo as we discuss how brands can tap into this universal passion point as an always-on solution, to not only reach, but connect with the masses.


Liz Baxter, Director, Local, Vevo
Charlie Betcher, Director, Advanced TV Sales, Vevo
Mollie Cahillane, Convergent TV Reporter, Adweek





1:45 PM — 2:05 PM ET

How Indies Can Win the War for Talent

Creative industries are undergoing a seismic shift in talent, and today's most strategic, inventive minds have more career options than ever. In this session, leaders from some of the most admired independent agencies share their experiences, relating to diversity, recruitment and employee retention. They’ll discuss how they're positioning their companies to stand out from the legion of brands, startups, platforms and holding companies when it comes to attracting—and retaining—an inclusive A-list of breakthrough talent.


Asmirh Davis, Chief Strategy Officer and Founding Partner, Majority
Mo Said, Founder and Creative Director, Mojo Supermarket
Aubrey Walker, Executive Creative Director, OKRP
Jameson Fleming, Agencies Editor, Adweek 





2:10 PM — 2:30 PM ET

Winning Go-to-Market Strategies in OOH Advertising

The transformation of out-of-home (OOH) is bringing the medium to the forefront as a priority channel for brands and marketers. New investments have increased the digital capabilities, addressability, and scale — putting OOH on the same playing field as other media channels.

As independent agencies develop their go-to-market strategies, new data-driven innovations for targeting and measurement across the customer journey are creating significant opportunities to deliver more precise, targeted, and measurable OOH campaigns than before.

In this session, join Talon America and explore the unprecedented technologies, targeting, measurement, and creative opportunities available to unlock OOH’s full potential.

Attend this session and learn:

  • How to build effective OOH go-to-market strategies that leverage the role of in-house OOH teams versus an OOH specialist
  • How to tap into new audience and location insights to drive business outcomes
  • How “unsiloing” OOH can elevate cross-platform results


Jeffrey Buntin Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, Buntin
Jonathan Conway, Chief Operating Officer, Talon America 
Timothy Simko, Executive Vice President Client Lead, Arena Media 





2:35 PM — 2:55 PM ET

Brawn Comes in All Sizes

At the heart of independent agencies, is it their agility, flexibility, and attentiveness that makes them attractive to the clients that love them? Join 4A's CEO, Marla Kaplowitz, in a conversation with two independent agency leaders to hear how they use size and independence as an advantage, along with a marketer's perspective on why some independents win big.


Steve Erich, Founder and President, Erich & Kallman
Marla Kaplowitz, Chief Executive Officer, 4A's 
Deacon Webster, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Walrus 
Eden Zeilo, Director of Global Brand Marketing, Unilever / SheaMoisture





3:00 PM — 3:20 PM ET

Perfecting Your Pitch: 5 Ways Independent Agencies Can Stand Out to Potential Clients

You’ve secured the first meeting with the client of your dreams; now is your time to shine. From the casting to the questions, how you show up will set the tone for your working relationship. Gone are the days of big pitch decks (and even bigger egos), modern clients are looking for creative partners touting honesty and collaboration. In this session, Julia Shapiro– VP of Marketing at WeTransfer– will explore ways to level up your first impression, and stand out in the sea of big agencies.


Julia Shapiro, Vice President, Marketing, WeTransfer





3:25 PM — 3:45 PM ET

Building the Perfect Marriage between Indy Agency and Brand

The success and popularity of independent agencies have grown immensely over the past year as speed, flexibility, and creativity continue to remain top priorities for brands looking to get in front of where their core consumers are right now. One of the benefits of working with independents is the ability to craft the right mix of agencies that work best for your brand to drive growth and create memorable campaigns. Like a puzzle, you want to find the pieces that fit right together.

In this session, Zelle Director of Media Strategy Josh Fajardo and Quan Media Group Founder Brian Rappaport will sit down to discuss why Zelle has pivoted to independent agencies for their advertising efforts. This fireside chat will cover off on understanding how partnering two independent agencies can work well for a brand, the benefits Zelle has seen from utilizing independents, the background on marrying POD with Quan, and a deeper look into Zelle’s 2021 brand campaign from conception to execution.


Josh Fajardo, Director of Media Strategy, Zelle
Brian Rappaport, Chief Executive Officer, Quan Media Group
Emmy Liederman, Agencies Reporter, Adweek





3:50 PM — 4:00 PM ET

Adweek Closing Remarks

Thank you for joining us!


Matt Steinmetz, Vice President, Event Partnerships, Adweek





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