A one-on-one conversation between Sean Finnegan, President/Chief Digital Officer of Starcom MediaVest Group and Matt Marshall, Executive Producer of DEMO.
A celebrated pioneer in digital media and a member of the Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) global leadership team, Sean Finnegan focuses on driving the worldwide agency networkâ€™s digital strategy and practice. In addition, he is responsible for forging digital communications product, proprietary tools and technology applications, inclusive of social and mobile media for SMG. Further, he fosters leadership within those arenas by aligning global and regional goals, and by leveraging relationships with media partners around the world to the advantage of the entire network.
Before joining SMG, Finnegan was chief marketing officer of Vibrant Media, a worldwide video advertising network. Prior to joining Vibrant Media, Finnegan was the chief executive officer of OMG Digital, a unit of Omnicom Media Group. As head of OMG Digital, Finnegan led its global management team and developed functional services in digital investment, search, mobile, gaming, futures, analytics and ad operations.
Beginning his career in the early 1990s at BBDO New York, Finnegan focused on spot TV buying and print planning. When the internet became commercial, he quickly shifted his focus to new media, working at such interactive agencies as Darwin Digital (Zenith), APL Digital and JWT Digital. Finnegan then departed the agency world for two years to become Director, Advertising Business Development at AllAdvantage.com. In 2001, Finnegan left for his native Chicago and became Midwest Director of OMD Digital. Eventually Finnegan was promoted to lead OMD Digital nationally and relocated back to New York, a position he held for three years before forming OMG Digital.
Finnegan is committed to mentorship and as such, he has spoken at several conferences such as the Cannes Advertising Awards, the Goldman Sachs Internet Conference, the MSN Strategic Account Summit and the AAF National Conference. Finnegan was named an AAF Advertising Hall of Achievement inductee (2006), an Advertising Age Media Maven, a Media All Star for Mediaweek Magazine, a MediaPost All Star, one of min magazine's 21 Most Intriguing People, an inter national ist Magazine Agency Innovator and OnMedia's Madison Avenue "IT" List.
Finnegan is involved in many online advertising industry groups and associations, such as the AAF, IAB, AAAAs Digital CEO Board, GoogleÂ´s Agency Advisory Council and the TiVo Advisory Council. He is also a proud co-founder and board member of the Tom Deierlein Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping needy families and children both nationally and internationally with their most basic living needs including medical care.
Matt Marshall is the editor and CEO of VentureBeat, which he founded in 2006. He covered the venture capital and startup beat for the Mercury News from 2001-2006. Marshall significantly expanded the newspapers coverage of venture capital and startups during that time, in daily articles and a weekly column called the VC Insider, and then online with his blog SiliconBeat from 2004.
Marshall was awarded Journalist of the Year by the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists in 2002, and the James Madison Freedom of Information award in 2003. These awards were for a series of articles he wrote in conjunction with two successful Mercury News lawsuits, in part instigated by Marshall, against California's public pension fund (CalPERS) and the University of California. The lawsuits sought disclosure of the financial performance of venture capital and other private equity funds that CalPERS and UC had invested in, arguing that state taxpayers and retirees had a right to know these results. As a result of these laws suits, public employees now have full access to information on the performance of their retirement investments.
Marshall was a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Bonn, Germany from 1995 through 1998. In 1999 he wrote a book while in Germany, The Bank: the Birth of Europe's Central Bank and the Rebirth of European Power. He has also written for the Washington Post and several other publications. Marshal is also the executive producer of DEMO.
Marshall has a PhD in Government and an MA in German and European Studies from Georgetown University.
Owen Thomas is the executive editor of VentureBeat. His career has ranged from Suck.com to the Red Herring, from Time to Valleywag, but he's consistently been interested in the transformative effects of innovation on business and culture. Also, he loves you but has an odd way of showing it.
Sean Finnegan, StarCom MediaVest Group Chief Digital Officer, discusses the vast opportunities created by digital advertising to brand products beyond the simple banner or print ad, thus generating superior relevancy and utility for the consumer.