Media Strategy Forum announces stellar keynote speakers

A star from Starcom MediaVest will kick off the event and another, from JWT, will wind it up on September 27.

Laura Desmond, CEO for Starcom MediaVest Group, has been confirmed as the opening keynote speaker at the Media Strategy Forum on September 27. One of the youngest CEOs to lead a marketing services company, she manages 2,000 marketing professionals across the US, Canada and Latin America for such brands as Starcom, MediaVest, GM Planworks, StarLink and Halogen.

Desmond served as CEO of MediaVest from 2003 to 2007, overseeing a period of enormous growth for the agency. She piloted MediaVest through a host of new business assignments from such powerful clients as Coca-Cola, Comcast, P&G, Wal-Mart and Wendy’s. During this time, MediaVest evolved its core services to include dedicated expertise across digital, entertainment marketing, out-of-home, print, research and consumer context planning.

Desmond is a passionate champion of imagination, reinvention and what comes next. She has received a host of accolades, including profiles in The Wall Street Journal‘s ‘Creative Leadership’ series (2007) and ‘Woman to Watch’ issue (2006), plus induction into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement in 2005.

Closing out what promises to be an exciting day is one of the world’s leading trend spotters/futurists: Marian Salzman, EVP/CMO worldwide for JWT. In 2005, she coined the buzz word ‘ubersexual’ to describe the new male ideal. In 1995, she was named one of New York magazine’s ‘Cyber 60′ and one of Crain’s New York Business‘s ’40 Under 40.’

Prior to joining JWT, Salzman was EVP and chief strategy officer for Euro RSCG Worldwide. She is the author and/or co-author of more than a dozen non-fiction books on topics ranging from cultural shifts to current affairs to the youth market and the commercial workplace. Salzman will be identifying new marketing and media trends and pinpointing the strengths required to thrive in a fragmenting media universe.

Full conference details are at