In part one of a two-part interview, Boyd discusses his 20-year history with AAM and how its role in the industry continues to evolve.
AAM: Tell us about your day job at Brandworks International.
Ted Boyd: In April 2016, I joined Brandworks, which provides destination marketing focused on the Caribbean in addition to other specialty client interests. My job is to support the team and make sure that they have the right resources. In doing so, I listen to the client, listen to the team and help them deliver on what they’ve asked for. I try to focus a lot on coaching and mentoring, which is both important and rewarding.
AAM: How did you become involved with AAM? What roles have you held?
Ted Boyd: I first became aware of AAM when it was still ABC back in 1995. As the director of new media technologies for Young & Rubicam Canada, I attended some early meetings in New York organized by ABC’s Audit Bureau of Verification Services and we talked about standards, technical capabilities and the myriad possibilities inherent in digital media. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to become familiar with the ABC team and other early digital players in the industry. I really enjoyed that initial phase.
I became more involved around 2007 when I was asked to join the Canadian board. I joined the North American board in 2010 where I subsequently led the planning and development committee and served as vice chairman.
Ted’s Experience in Digital Media
Young & Rubicam
AAM: What is AAM’s role in the media marketplace?
Ted Boyd: AAM has a unique point of view around how to collaboratively solve thorny industry problems with all stakeholders. More than ever, the organization has relevant and important work ahead helping to produce a long-term, stable business model for premium publishers in addition to a strong role for advertisers and advertising agencies trying to reach premium audiences.
I also believe more people are realizing the importance of a free press and the role of strong independent journalism in a democracy. Our common mission is to support the role of accountability-based journalism, understand how important it is as a fundamental pillar of democracy, and what could happen if it ceased to exist. In this context, I feel AAM has a significant cause attached to its existence in a way that has not been apparent heretofore. It is a very challenging time for both publishers and agencies for a variety of reasons, but as an organization we must realize the importance of what our publishers do in supporting our democratic rights and freedoms.
AAM: What are your goals as AAM chairman?
Ted Boyd: My goals are to support our CEO Tom Drouillard, the AAM team, and the board of directors in helping buyers buy and sellers sell. We have to always be thinking about our relevance. We should always be at the table helping all our stakeholders achieve their goals. And just as everyone else in the media ecosystem does, we have to earn the right to be there every day.
As an organization, we don't have a right to exist unless our clients feel very strongly that we are helping them achieve their objectives. And that's something that I feel passionately about. I think we are very focused in delivering on that challenge and doing the best we can to stay true to that each and every day.
AAM: What role does the AAM board of directors play in the industry?
Ted Boyd: Our board is constructed of the industry, for the industry. Our tripartite structure is a thing of beauty in my view, but it is not without its complexities. In our 103-year history, we’ve had some tough conversations centered around creating favorable outcomes for all industry players and they still occur today. These conversations are hugely significant and meaningful both personally and on an institutional level. Most fundamentally, I think they make us not only better board members, but also better business people when we go back to our own organizations.
AAM: What’s AAM’s biggest strength? A weakness we could improve?
Ted Boyd: Our biggest strength is our tripartite nature and that we are built to truly represent the industry that we serve.
As for our weakness, as an organization we sometimes take our role in the industry for granted and that has caused our relevance to fade at times. What we really need to focus on is ensuring our relevance and demonstrating value to our clients and understanding their challenges in a way that helps their businesses succeed.