A Message From Disney Advertising Sales President Rita Ferro

A Message From Disney Advertising Sales President Rita Ferro

Rita FerroBy Rita Ferro|January 24, 2023

Partners –

Can you believe we are already three weeks into January and have already experienced some of the best NFL wildcard games, enjoyed an incredible National Football weekend, and had a whirlwind week at CES? No one can say that this industry isn’t full of activity and excitement, and that’s just January! We have so much to look forward to as a business and industry in 2023.

Our year started off strong in Las Vegas where my team and I joined partners, vendors, and industry experts back in-person at CES to discuss the future of advertising innovation – encompassing everything from data and insights to automation and measurement, in addition to clean rooms and interoperability. While we were on the ground, we had 100s of meetings and those discussions reinforced that we are on the right track – and emphasized the importance of our continued commitment to driving transformation and delivering performance for you, our partners.

This year marks the third iteration of our Tech & Data Showcase, where we come together to highlight the advancements Disney has made across data, platform technology, programmatic and measurement solutions.

At Disney, we are focused on proving the power of our data and technology solutions driving real results for brands today. We plan to share insights and advancements on our built, not bought, advertising technology solutions; our proprietary Audience Graph and clean room technology, and our approach to measurement. All of which will better serve you in achieving your key business KPIs. I’m excited to have you all join us, tomorrow, January 25 at 2pm, for the presentation and live Q&A with our best-in-class subject matter experts.

Yesterday, I joined EY CMO Practice Leader Janet Balis for a fireside chat focused on our industry, innovation and everything in between. It was the perfect way to kickstart our Tech and Data Showcase week. If you’d like to tune into what Janet and I discussed, a replay can be found on Disney’s Advertising’s LinkedIn.

Disney sits in a unique place in our industry. We are positioned squarely at the intersection of creativity and innovation. When you consider how we connect with a global audience across our media in streaming, linear, digital, social, and couple that with our iconic franchises, sports and entertainment offering, Disney is truly unrivaled.

We’re paving the way for the future of the marketplace, and we do so with you and your businesses in mind. Every single day, not during one season – we are committed to innovating for and with you.

As we march toward our annual milestone moment this May and celebrate more moments of success along the way, we kick off our 52-week Road to Upfront strategy. On May 16, we look forward to hosting all of our partners at the state-of-the-art North Javits Center in New York City to spotlight Disney’s amazing array of entertainment and sports and unveil a few surprises. We’re also excited to share that beloved late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will be returning to the Big Apple to close out our star-studded event.

I’m looking forward to coming together tomorrow for our Tech and Data Showcase, and I hope you all can tune-in to hear more about what we have planned for Disney Advertising in 2023.

We’ve got an exciting year ahead of us, and we look forward to our continued expansion on the great work we are already doing together.

Warmest Regards,

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Dear Advertising Community – A Letter from Rita Ferro


2022 is off to a roaring start and we’re feeling incredibly optimistic.

Disney Advertising is just three weeks away from our Tech and Data Week, culminating with our previously announced second annual Tech & Data Showcase on Thursday, March 3.

Our approach has always been show and prove – our ability to drive results for clients by embracing technology, data, and creativity demonstrates the power of our portfolio at every turn. Within the coming months and years, the investments in our proprietary audience graph, audience targeting solutions, viewer-first experiences, cross-platform planning, optimization, and measurement will continue to transform our business, as well as yours. The team and I can’t wait to detail the progress on the technology and data strategy we formally rolled out last year, and of course unveil some exciting new announcements as well. See you March 3 at 2 pm ET.

We sit in a very unique place in our industry and one thing is clear; Disney is unrivaled. We’re unrivaled in the way we do business with our partners. We know that results matter to your business – our performance and effectiveness metrics speak for themselves. To better serve you, our clients, we are committed to powering an always-on approach through consultative, audience-first solutions differentiated by deep data insights and best-in-class technology. That, combined with our unrivaled studio and entertainment content, storytelling, the power of live and top-tier sports rights across our leading content and video destinations, are unmatched. This is our commitment 365 days a year, not only during Upfront season. That’s what our consumers expect.

As industry leaders, we use our unique position in the global media ecosystem to make the industry more inclusive and representative, and we recognize that this work is never complete. We prioritize Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion because it’s a business imperative and key to innovation, creativity and more representative storytelling. Many of you have been alongside us in this journey over the last two years, and we’re excited to share more about our work together in the coming months.

Disney has a century’s worth of experience bringing bold storytelling to audiences around the world. We’re taking the same spirit of creativity and innovation that has defined The Walt Disney Company for nearly 100 years, and applying it to technology to build the most advanced, data-informed ad portfolio ever created. We’ve amassed the largest and most impactful consumer base across all platforms. On April 6, you’ll see our continued commitments to the best sports rights when we host our Annual Sports Summit; and investments in original programming that fuel our partnerships with the advertising community at an intimate Storytellers Showcase on April 25.

On Tuesday, May 17 we’ll transform Basketball City, Pier 36, to deliver an Upfront event unlike anything you’ve ever seen from Disney. Be prepared for more unrivaled content and an incomparable experience in an entirely new venue!

We are poised for a terrific year with your partnership. Thank you for meeting this moment with excitement, imagination, and dedication. There’s much more to come.

Warmest Regards,

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An Advertising Industry Letter for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Join Us!

An Advertising Industry Letter for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Join Us!

It has been 241 days since the death of George Floyd.

241 days since the injustice of one man’s senseless death has ignited the greatest global social movement we have seen in our lifetimes. His death, and countless others, revealed to the world the utter depth and breadth of systemic racism – galvanizing people of all creeds to collectively start the work of dismantling it. Even more, news of more senseless violence against Black people, and stark examples of unequal treatment, demonstrate the cyclical and perpetual severity of these problems. These inequalities and deeply-rooted biases permeate and affect our communities and various industries of work – and unfortunately, the advertising industry is not exempt.

And for the past 241 days, those of us in Disney Advertising have undergone our own personal reckoning and reawakening, as we’ve become more aware of how systemic racism impacts us all. While some progress has been made in the past, we need to dig deeper and build upon our past efforts to create new habits, a new culture, and a new system of inclusion.

In order to begin the necessary work to achieve this vision, as an organization, our first step was to listen – hearing stories and experiences from our Black colleagues, holding spaces to have honest conversations, and embracing the discomfort of hearing hard truths. This was instrumental in shaping our vision and identifying our avenues of action.

We have established inclusive committees comprised of 70 volunteers – from assistant to president – focused on a culture of inclusion through listening and education; developing our existing diverse talent; enhancing our hiring practices; and reshaping how we positively work together with and influence our industry as a whole.

While we have been focused these past months on change within our organization, we see the opportunity to be a part of the change within our industry as well. And we recognize that in order to truly make a lasting impact in this work, we cannot do this alone. A change in any system cannot happen without the intentional efforts of all those who are actively involved. For our industry, this includes us and this includes you, agencies, brands, publishers, and associations to all be part of building a new system.

We are inviting all in our advertising community to join us on this path of accountability in creating an industry that actively hears and elevates diverse voices. In practice, we will:

  • Ensure industry panel discussions and events are inclusive of diverse talent and topics of conversation.
  • Define best practices for recruiting and development that enable diverse talent to move and shift within the industry.
  • Be more transparent on our progress and work together to establish strategy, analysis, accountability, and metrics on diversity and inclusion efforts.

Thank you to AdColor, dentsu, Horizon, MediaVillage, Omnicom, Publicis and Translation for joining us on this journey and for your commitment to advancing our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts. Together through awareness, commitment, and ownership, we can lead by example in the short- and long-term.

Our industry is a tight-knit network of talent. When we are allies in the pursuit of DE&I efforts, we have the opportunity to create an industry that elevates voices of differing backgrounds and viewpoints in an impactful way. We are better when people at all levels reflect the varied life experiences of our audiences, customers, and communities. To our prospective allies, we would love to hear from you on how we can take this journey together and what you are doing to bring about real change in your inclusion efforts. Disney Advertising is here, and we’re ready to work with you now in this fight for a better tomorrow.

Please email your main point of contact from our Disney Advertising Team or Contact Us at DAS-Diversity@disney.com to start the conversation.

The Employees of Disney Advertising, with Rita Ferro

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A message from Disney Advertising President, Rita Ferro

Partners –

We are collectively navigating unchartered waters with the coronavirus pandemic affecting all of our families, our businesses, and our way of life. During this period of uncertainty, I wanted to reach out and provide an update on how Disney is approaching the situation on behalf of your business.

We are working around the clock with our colleagues at ESPN to determine replacement programming for the remainder of March & April so that we are able to best support the plans you have in place. Just today, ESPN’s Executive Vice President, Programming Acquisitions and Scheduling, Burke Magnus provided insights to the approach he and his team have been taking – you can read more about ESPN’s replacement programming plans here.

Additionally, we are working with The Leagues who have suspended their season to determine go forward plans and be prepared to ensure sponsors are ready to go as soon as they are. While there will be no live games, we’ve increased production on our premier live studio programming, anchored by SportsCenter, Get Up and First Take – with NFL Free Agency and the Greatest College Basketball Player of All Time initiative driving content.

Across our entertainment brands we are seeing increased audiences and engagement on both our Linear and Digital platforms, inclusive of Hulu. We’ve shifted Jimmy Kimmel Live an hour earlier and expanded daytime news coverage of current affairs beginning tomorrow. And we’re looking to attach advertisers to our signature franchises like Good Morning America and our Freeform series, where we have a lot of feel good family content that can be great resonators for client messaging.

In other areas, we have seen partners in categories such as CPG & DTC wanting increased activity in order to meet the rapidly changing needs and consumption patterns from consumers. We are actively working with many of you to help maximize your creative messaging and your plans to respond to these rapid shifts in consumer behavior.

Our Disney CreativeWorks creative teams are actively responding to advertisers in need of creative editing, reformatting and any other need you may have.

While these are challenging times to say the least, we remain fully committed to the ongoing service of your businesses and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me individually.

Bottom line we are here to help execute, strategize and plan for the next few weeks and months. We will continue to focus on the short and long of what this means to you and to us and we will do it together as partners.

Please stay safe with your families & colleagues.

Warmest Regards,