At a CNN Town Hall last month, President Joe Biden found a reason for optimism about race relations in the U.S. He mused, “Did you ever five years ago think every second or third ad out of five or six you would turn on would be biracial couples?”
One of ad tech’s few African American CEOs, Larry Harris begs to differ. Diverse casting in a commercial, he believes, is not an accurate barometer of the true diversity within the advertising and media industries. He cites a 2019 survey by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) that found no progress over the last year in multicultural representation among chief marketing officers, key decision makers in the advertising industry, even though a quarter of the roughly 13,700 ANA members who responded to the question of ethnicity identified as non-white.
Harvard College alum, Harris is the CEO and founder of Alpha Precision Media, an Amazon-focused performance media buying agency.
In conversation with author/journalist Jacqueline Adams (HBS 1978), Harris will dissect why Madison Avenue is largely still white-and male-dominated, unlike other professions that have made strides towards diversity and inclusion. Harris will offer suggestions about what companies big and small can do to reverse course in the new digital age of advertising.
This program is presented jointly by the Harvard Business School African-American Alumni Association and the HBS Club of New York.
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Alpha Precision Media Data-Driven Advertising Future of AdTech Transformative Leadership D&I Advocate
Larry Harris is a global leader in ad tech. He is the Founder and CEO of Alpha Precision Media, a new kind of adtech company that leverages Amazon's data and technology to build brand value and turbocharge sales. Larry previously served as the CEO of Sightly, a performance video advertising firm, the co-founder and CEO of Ansible Mobile, an Interpublic Group mobile marketing company, and the Chief Marketing Officer of PubMatic, an ad tech company that went public in December 2020, among other top posts in the advertising and digital marketing space.
With over 25 years of experience, Larry is an expert in digital and e-commerce strategy, performance-based advertising, customer opportunity analysis, omni-channel marketing, and digital innovation.
He graduated from Harvard University and lives in Long Island with his family. Larry is a lifelong Knicks fan.
Jacqueline Adams launched a second career as a communications strategist after more than two decades as an Emmy Award-winning CBS News correspondent. Through her boutique consulting firm, J Adams: Strategic Communications, LLC, she counsels a variety of corporate and non-profit clients. She serves as a senior advisor to the new payment platform for publishers, NICKLPass (https://nicklpass.io/), and has a major role in the training program for rising star managers of color, The Diverse Future.
In 2020, she launched a third career as the author of a bi-monthly column, #TeamUp, in The Christian Science Monitor. She also published an acclaimed leadership book with co-author, Bonita C. Stewart, A Blessing: Women of Color Teaming Up to Lead, Empower and Thrive.
Ms. Adams covered the groundbreaking campaigns of Jesse Jackson for President and Geraldine Ferraro for Vice President before spending five years as a White House correspondent during the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations. In the 1990s, she was a prolific contributor to the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and CBS News Sunday Morning. She won a News and Documentary Emmy Award for the 48 Hours broadcast, “The Search for Matthew.”
A graduate of Harvard Business School, Ms. Adams deliberately saves time for a number of non-profit activities. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Business School Club of New York and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Advisory Committee of the United States Institute of Peace, and the Advisory Council of the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream.
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