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Meet Philip Perez, President of CAA
I was born in… Morocco in a U.S. Armed Forces base. I was then raised in Switzerland, France, Congo, Cambodia and Vietnam. I attended 12 different schools before attending college, including two stints at boarding schools. Although I am a U.S. citizen, I was raised French. Family gatherings are a multicultural affair and we switch constantly between French, English and Spanish.
I have a 20-year-old daughter, Delfina, who is studying musical theatre. She has already appeared in plays on Calle Corrientes which is the local Broadway of Buenos Aires.
I graduated from… l’École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (now ESCP Europe) with a major in finance. I switched to marketing seven years later, while working at Nestlé in Switzerland. The company provided me with in-depth training in both marketing and sales. I stayed in marketing ever since, mostly working for FMCG companies. I have been with the CAA since 2009, first as General Manager and then doubling as President since 2014.
When I started in the advertising/marketing industry… everything seemed simpler and slower back then. Messages were unidirectional, audiences were listening, and to a point, people even liked us. The pace of change has increased dramatically, attention is nil due to overcrowding and excess noise, nobody seems to care about brands anymore and advertising is being blamed for every problem that affects society. So, is the future bleak? Not necessarily. As WFA points out, this is an opportunity for better marketing. We can and must regain this “lost love” between brands and people. And technology is there to help us deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.
My proudest achievement… I like to believe, is yet to come. The pursuit of new achievements is one of our main drivers as human beings. Life is made of a series of successes, some small, some big, and to define one as the biggest is like saying that from now on, everything will go downhill. So, I prefer to take some distance from the past and to look forward instead.
Our main priority at CAA is… to promote an environment that allows our members to make their advertising more efficient. This year, we will put special emphasis on precise and widely accepted metrics, identification and elimination of invalid traffic and transparency throughout the supply chain.
A very specific challenge in the marketing industry in my country is… to have the industry agree on a clean-up of the digital ecosystem. So far it seems that nobody apart from advertisers is willing to bring this subject to the table. And for good reason, since we are probably paying more than we should. Fortunately, some of our largest members are helping us put pressure on the seller side and we firmly believe that we can make real and noticeable progress this year.
What makes me sad about the industry today is… the current image of advertising in general. Not only does it affect our work, but it also makes it more difficult to attract talented people. How did we get here? How can we change this?
What most people don’t know about me is… I love to travel. I have already visited about 60 countries in several stages of my life. First during childhood with my parents and then in my early adulthood which was mostly work-related destinations. At a later stage, I did most of my travelling through classic car rallying. Nowadays this is our main activity with my wife, Martina. We try to get away twice a year, one of which to an exotic destination.
A few things about my country…
Argentina is a country with a privileged geography. Almost everything can be seen here: some of the highest mountains in the world, thousands of miles of seacoast, endless fertile land, cold and arid deserts, immense rivers surrounded by tropical forest.
The Argentinean people are the result of a syncretism between indigenous roots, and a huge, heterogeneous immigration in the last 100 years. We cherish friendship and family gatherings, lunch extends to late-afternoon, and dinner until dawn.
Soccer is the passion of the crowds, and politics is discussed a lot. People give each other hugs, and openly show their feelings. They fix the world around a cup of coffee and the ups and downs of the economy do not scare them anymore, as this is part of their DNA. It is sometimes difficult to understand Argentines… but one always ends up liking this country and its people.
Philip is WFA’s Regional VP for Latin America. CAA Argentina will host this year’s WFA LATAM Regional Meeting on 8-9 October in Buenos Aires. Want to know more about Philip? Get in touch with him here.
This is part of a series of monthly interviews with heads of national advertiser associations in WFA membership.