GS&P CCO Margaret Johnson Appointed 4th Chair of Ad Council’s Campaign Review Committee

She will oversee a team of 7

Johnson's team is the first of the Committee's to be based on the West Coast.
Headshot of Lindsay Rittenhouse

The Ad Council has appointed San Francisco’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners chief creative officer Margaret Johnson as the fourth governing chair of its Campaign Review Committee.

The committee, which reviews the campaigns produced by the Ad Council, is comprised of four teams led by McCann global creative chairman Rob Reilly; IfWeRanTheWorld founder and CEO Cindy Gallop; FCB global CCO Susan Credle and now Johnson, who replaces Wayne Best, co-founder and creative director of Cog NY.

Best stepped down from the Campaign Review Committee at the end of last year, a spokeswoman for the Ad Council said, adding it’s routine to rotate chairs periodically.

Johnson’s team—the first of the Committee’s to be based on the West Coast—includes Pereira & O’Dell creative chairman PJ Pereira; Phenomenon chief strategy officer Jason DeTurris; Venables Bell & Partners executive creative director and partner Will McGinnis; The Martin Agency CCO Karen Costello; Wieden + Kennedy executive creative director Karl Lieberman; Leo Burnett CEO Canada and CCO of North America Judy John and Facebook global creative director Andrew Keller.

“I have always admired the work the Ad Council has championed,” Johnson said in a statement to Adweek. “I’m honored to be a chair. The CRC has always been a source of the industry’s most-creative, emotional and high-impact work, and today it’s more important than ever.”

She continued: “Some of my all-time favorite campaigns have been done in tandem with the Ad Council, including the ‘I Am a Witness’ anti-bullying emoji.”

Adobe, the Ad Council and Goodby linked up in 2015 to create a new emoji—an eye inside a speech bubble—for the iOS 9.1, designed for people to use when they see bullying and want to report it in some way. The campaign was supported by Apple, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Johnson & Johnson and Twitter.

“Great advertising is emotional and makes you feel something inside,” Johnson said. “Recently, we’ve been talking a lot about ‘mass intimacy,’ which is the notion of talking to a large number of people but making the conversation feel very personal.”

Johnson said that intimacy is key to creating a standout PSA.

One the most rewarding campaigns Johnson said she worked on was called “HD Loves HB,” which was created as a VR experience for Häagen-Dazs to raise awareness about the plight of the honeybee (without whom the ice-cream brand would lose one-third of its flavors). The campaign specifically focused on colony collapse disorder—a phenomenon in which a colony suffers a significant loss of its critical worker bees—and led Häagen-Dazs to testify before Congress on behalf of protecting the insect.

Johnson was named the first CCO of Goodby in August 2016. Prior to that, she was partner and executive creative director at the Omnicom shop, which she joined back in 1996 after spending some time as an art director at The Richards Group.

As a leading female creative in the industry, Johnson said she’s “passionate” about “keeping and promoting female leaders at GS&P.”

“It’s important to me as a leader and as a mother to pave the way for the next generation of women,” Johnson added. “I sincerely believe that a more diverse set of perspective always makes the work better, and I think the industry’s survival depends on increasing the level of creativity by increasing the level of diversity.”

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.