How One Creative Is Facilitating More Opportunities for Women in Advertising

Laura Visco is changing the narrative, one invisible talent at a time

Through Visco's InVisible Creatives, agencies and recruiters can search for women in the industry to hire for their open junior-, mid- and senior-level positions.
Stephanie Sibbald

Laura Visco started off her career “failing terribly” after she moved from Argentina to London and dealt with all the challenges that came with it: from learning English to starting over without connections. But that didn’t stop her from excelling, becoming deputy ecd at 72andSunny Amsterdam—as well as a voice for younger creatives and those often overlooked in the industry.

“Experiencing that struggle firsthand made me a better professional and a better, more empathetic manager,” said Visco. “The harder the path, the better you get.”

And Visco’s path certainly wasn’t easy. In lieu of a specialty school or degree focusing on advertising, she dove headfirst into her career, focusing on getting hands-on experience. “The way we teach creativity is broken,” said Visco. “We create case study editors, not communicators.”

In addition to her work for 72andSunny, Visco founded InVisible Creatives, a database-turned-movement that Visco runs with Anomaly associate creative director Maddy Kramer. The initiative aims to change the narrative around women creatives “to give a new perspective, because aspiring female creatives can’t look up to a problem—they can look up to brilliant minds, though,” Visco explained.

Through InVisible Creatives, agencies and recruiters can search for women in the industry to hire for their open junior-, mid- and senior-level positions. Not only will this help balance out the gender inequality in creative departments, but it’ll also extend through the entire advertising industry—at least, that’s the hope. The group also hopes to reframe the conversation across the industry by focusing on the qualified female talent rather than the need to meet a quota in agencies.

Taking it one step further, at this year’s Cannes International Festival of Creativity, InVisible Creatives teamed up with Adweek to create a space at the festival for younger female creatives, especially in a space that often prioritizes only sending executive-level staff. Visco and Kramer started off by calling on agencies to bring more women to Cannes, particularly younger talent. The Adweek-InVisible Creatives event connected these younger creatives with senior creatives, offering them the chance to develop their careers by attending Cannes and also reaping the benefits of learning from prominent industry executives.

Big Mistake

“My biggest failure was that I didn’t ask myself the right questions before moving to London,” explained Visco. “I was promised to work on really good briefs, but I ended up on a toilet paper brand!”

Lesson Learned

“Eventually, nothing really is a mistake. Just a miscalculation,” said Visco. “We learn from failure. And it’s good for our ego to fail.”

How She Got the Gig

After meeting Carlo Cavallone at Cannes in 2014 when he was the executive creative director of 72andSunny Amsterdam, Visco explained that she had a “weird interview.” She continued: “I told him that I hate advertising but love what advertising can do. It can be a powerful tool—if done right.” And even though she didn’t think the interview went well, she’s been with the agency for five years now.

Pro Tip

“We need to encourage a deep understanding of what [creatives] can bring to the industry, from their personal story and skills,” said Visco, elaborating on why a specific advertising education shouldn’t be a job requirement.

This story first appeared in the Aug. 26, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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