Perspectives: Women in Advertising: Robin Fitzgerald, CCO, BBDO Atlanta
In honor of International Women’s Day, AdForum is showcasing the achievements of women in advertising in the month of March through a series of interviews. We would like to thank Robin Fitzgerald, Chief Creative Officer at BBDO Atlanta, for taking the time to offer her thoughts and reflect on her career.
AdForum: How would you describe the current overall culture at your agency? How would you describe the culture among your female colleagues and what are the differences?
Robin: Our culture is healthy and hungry to do more great work. I don’t really see any difference between male and female colleagues at the agency. Everyone expects a lot from each other, and everyone is responsible for bringing it.
AdForum: What do you consider the biggest personal achievement in your career that still fills you with the most pride?
Robin: Sitting on my parents’ couch and watching one of my commercials get parodied by Andy Samberg and Fred Armisen on Saturday Night Live. Oh, and being nominated for an Emmy. Not the same commercial, by the way. That would have been too perfect.
AdForum: Can you reflect on a mentor that helped guide you in your career and tell us what made them special?
Robin: Andrew Keller gave me some advice a long time ago that stayed with me. It went something like this -“Sometimes the meanest thing a person can do is be too nice.”
And it’s true, it’s actually kinder (and harder) to rip apart a good idea and get down to what really makes it good and then make it better. And when an idea isn’t there? Kill mediocrity early so no one wastes their time.
I sound so violent now.
AdForum: In a few words, what advice do you have for women entering the advertising industry?
See yourself as a writer, or an artist, or a leader first. Then a woman. Then a human. Trust your decisions and your gut. And surround yourself with people who surprise and inspire you.