A Quick Chat with Annette Stover Reminds us Why We Don’t Attend Events

By Matt Van Hoven 

After the Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) luncheon ended, and Annette Stover (COO Euro RSCG) finished shaking hands with fellow honorees (she was one of many being “watched”), we got a couple minutes to ask her some generally lame questions.

I say lame because I was told (before the event) that Stover wouldn’t be able to answer questions about Euro’s latest business venture &#151 a 51 percent stake in The:Hours, a start-up music label. WTF?! It’s all I wanted to talk about.

Tis what it is. Still, I found her unwillingness to talk about the matter strange since according to her profile, she plays a pivotal role in new business (as well as operations and communications). And, not to point out the obvious or anything, but The:Hours falls into the “new business” category, since it’s new and business. So check out what I was “allowed” to ask her about, after the jump.

I asked questions relating to the subject of women in advertising (ed’s note: the interview took place at the Advertising Women of New York luncheon, so that is what I was told Stover could talk about. We chose to post the interview now, rather than last week, because more interesting stuff crossed our plate before we got around to Stover).

Matt: What are the toughest challenges facing young women entering the ad-world?

Stover (in her smooth French accent): It’s not so much gender as it is an understanding of the business (of advertising). Personally, I fell into it, but I love advertising. You have to be passionate about it and inspired to learn. Making yourself standout, regardless of sex, is the biggest challenge.

Matt: What impresses you about the young professionals you’ve seen at Euro?

Stover: We recently hired a female intern whose intelligence and drive were remarkable. Intellectual curiosity, a varied background and as I said, a love of advertising, are vitally important. You have to love this work. Those that don’t can’t hope to go far.

Matt: Phew. I love advertising, and although I don’t work at an agency, I’m obsessed with it. On that note, what do you read to stay in the know?

Stover: George Parker. We used to work together (ed’s note: Parker confirms this, and notes Stover is a “nice person” who he worked with at JWT). I also regularly read BBC, Le Monde, the (New York) Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic and New York Magazine.

Matt: Do you read NY Mag’s Best Bets?

Stover: Ah, not that much.

Matt: (To myself,”how can I wrap this up?”) So are jingles making a comeback?

Stover: They never really left. They’re becoming more vibrant with the kinds of artists we’re seeing in ads.

What we wanted to know is how The:Hours is expected to make a difference for Euro. We’ve heard a number of musicians are jumping in advertisers’ laps because they can’t make a living selling their music to consumers. I’d mention one artist in particular who is making the rounds in hopes of signing with an agency, but I’m sworn to secrecy…for now.

Here’s what Euro RSCG CEO David Jones told AdWeek on the matter; “There’s a big opportunity here, which is if you set up a company that actually has expertise in both [music and marketing], then it’s probably going to play better and leverage this new world. In this new content creation model and world, our ability to actually be owners of content and make money out of content is something very exciting.”

Ah, so cheaper music is what they want! Yeah we knew that, but why Stover was reluctant to even reiterate that point indicates she was probably scared of being misconstrued. That or her profile is inflated.