There were multiple goals for AT&T;'s recent Relevance conference: communicating the commitment of newly named ad division, Xandr; demonstrating a commitment to making advertising matter to consumers and easier to transact for brands and agencies, and presenting a vision of a transparent, game-changing media-buying marketplace with first-party data, quality content, massive distribution and powerful ad-tech. All this while throwing an event with speakers ranging from AT&T;'s CEO Randall Stephenson, baseball's Derek Jeter and television's Matthew Weiner to a host of visionary advertising executives. Amidst all of that, a quiet announcement gave proof to the company's commitment to upending the marketplace.
Speaker after speaker at the AT&T; Relevance Conference shared insights, ideas and strong points of view about the state of the media and advertising industry. Kirk McDonald hosted the event for Xandr, the newly christened advertising unit of AT&T.; Below are comments made by industry leaders from Silicon Valley and Hollywood, as well as Madison Avenue buyers and sellers and successful content providers and distributors. Also speaking were Derek Jeter and Issa Rae, whose comments can be read here. The conference provided an excellent overview of the state of advertising, media and marketing from a wide spectrum of perspectives.
The ad business is on the cusp of some serious change, and Christina Beaumier can't wait. The Vice President of Advertising Technology for AT&T; Advertising and Analytics (which since the publication of this interview has been renamed Xandr) has seen the change coming for a while, having previously worked for publishers like Google and agencies like GroupM’s Xaxis. Beaumier is a big believer in the power of convergence -- the marrying of TV and digital. She has experience bridging different worlds: It was a Peace Corps mission in West Africa that set her on her career path. She talked recently with MediaVillage about industry trends, mentoring, leadership, gender equality in the workplace and much more.