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May 14, 2024 | By Kyle O’Brien & Olivia Morley & Aleda Stam

OMG’s Michael Roca was among the 17 professions selected for Adweek’s 2024 Media All Star List.

These honorees are crafting standout strategies and helping clients maximize their budgets

For the 2024 Media All-Stars, technology is a key tool to crafting the best strategy.

ADWEEK’s Media All-Stars represent the changing face of media, from small, independent agencies to integrated networks and international clientele. As AI continues to influence media buying and the industry overall, these stars are making the best of the technology and finding new ways to help clients maximize their dollars and gain market share. For the 2024 Media All-Stars, technology is a key tool to crafting the best strategy while navigating markets and audiences that are increasingly diverse, creator-led and shoppable. It’s not all about tech, however. Media Executive of the Year Valerie Davis shows that listening to employee needs helps power growth at Stagwell’s Assembly, while Rising Star Kelechi Nwankwoala, the research lead at Mindshare’s NeuroLab, measures consumers’ emotions. —Kyle O’Brien

At the head of OMG’s cross-cultural media strategy and investment Center of Excellence, Michael Roca challenges how the media industry thinks about investing in diverse-owned media suppliers. He’s helped OMG more than double its investments in diverse-owned media suppliers since 2020. Last year, investments in these properties were up 13% from 2022. He’s shifting away from quotas and toward process to get these results: “Quotas have done nothing to advance the interests of diverse publishers, and in many cases are never fulfilled,” he told ADWEEK. Media agency holding grips usually rely on those quatas to plan and measure their diverse funding investments, but they regularly fall short of their investment goals. Roca’s process makes equitable investments part of media plans from their genesis instead of adding them later.

The group taps media planning experts from OMG’s Elevate practice to guide investment strategies, and teams can access step-by-step inclusive planning guides. Plus. buyers may activate media within private marketolaces that incentivize brands that spend more on diverse-owned media properties. Roca and his team host OMG’s semiannual “infront.” which connects diverse media suppliers with advertisers. -O.M.