The Advertising Hall of Fame Inducts Most Diverse Class Yet

By Emmy Liederman 

AAF Hall of Fame

When Antonio Lucio accepted his induction into the Advertising Hall of Fame, he asserted the industry’s collective social impact that does more than impress fellow ad veterans and award show committees. 

“I believe in this industry’s ability to do good,” said Lucio, who concluded his speech waving a miniature Puerto Rican flag as a salute to the place he grew up.“We influence the way the world sees itself.” 

Lucio, the former global CMO of Meta and the principal and founder of talent consultancy 5S Diversity, is part of the American Advertising Federation’s 72nd annual class. The April 27 award show at Cipriani Wall Street was kicked off with remarks from president and CEO Steve Pacheco, followed by board chair Tiffany R. Warren, who expressed her pride in inducting the AAF’s most diverse class yet. 


The organization recognized Unilever as its corporate nominee and honored seven industry  veterans:

  • Raúl Alarcón, chairman of the board and CEO, Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc.
  • Cathie Black, principal, Madison Park Ventures; former chairman and president, Hearst Magazines
  • Louis Carr, president of media sales, Black Entertainment Television (BET)
  • Antonio J. Lucio, principal and founder, 5S Diversity and former global CMO at Meta, HP, Visa and PepsiCo
  • Renetta E. McCann, Chief Inclusion Experience Officer, Publicis Groupe
  • Aaron M. Walton, CEO, Walton Isaacson
  • John Wren, chairman and CEO, Omnicom Group

Several honorees said they hope this class popularizes the notion that careers in advertising, media and marketing exist for everyone—and that organizations failing to identify diverse talent probably don’t know where to look. Carr, who has been with BET Networks for 36 years, referred to his role as a “privilege job” in that he is able to “show Black excellence both on screen and off screen.” 

The acceptance speeches were introduced with video montages for each inductee, which consisted of praise that spanned from industry leaders to grandchildren. In Black’s tribute, Gloria Steinem commemorated her fellow contributions to feminism—the former president of Hearst Magazines was also the first woman publisher of a national consumer weekly, New York Magazine. 

In an email to inductees after the event, Advertising Hall of Fame council of judges chair Carolyn Everson expressed her excitement in honoring a group of leaders who embody and champion the progression of industry inclusion. 

“Watching each of you step up and deliver extraordinary messages of inspiration, leadership, passion and provocation was something no one in that room will ever forget,” she stated. “Serving the AHOF has been one of the greatest honors of my career.”