No AI Here

The Canadian media and marketing industry is alive with dynamic talent, innovation and design thinking. Underpinning our industry, is an impressive group of legendary individuals who have dedicated their careers to the pursuit of excellence but also contribute generously both in spirit and time to the next generation of leaders in this country. This week, IAB Canada joined the AMA as they celebrated this year’s extraordinary 2023 inductees to the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends.

The group included

  • Lisa Lisson, SVP of hubs, ramps, and global operations control, FedEx,
  • Noel O’Dea, president and founder, Target Marketing and Communications Inc.,
  • Sandra Sanderson, SVP, marketing, Empire Company Limited and Sobeys Inc.,
  • Chris Staples, founding partner, Rethink Communications, and
  • Ian Grais, founding partner, Rethink Communications.

A lively panel discussion with several of the inductees shed light on some of the qualities that have served these leaders well. From stories of overcoming hardship, to making commitments that are deeply driven by personal values, the resounding theme was one of authenticity.

When MC, Tony Chapman asked the panelists to share a piece of advice for up-and-coming talent, the following were some of their responses:

  • Ask yourself what you would do if you were not afraid
  • Work with people you believe in and love
  • Don’t forget to have a life – all-nighters make advertising worse
  • To thine own self be true – avoid best practices and aim to differentiate

Reflecting on these, we can’t help but raise the question that has permeated our airwaves lately (on social media feeds, in round table discussions with our members, and at post-secondary symposiums) – Will AI take over our livelihoods? One thing we know for sure is that our industry depends on people. Virtually every discussion in our field starts and ends with the concept of authenticity and how vital it is to connect with consumers. From where we are sitting, this will not change at any point soon – with or without AI.

IAB Canada supports real conversations with real people. Connect with us, with our fellow associations and with each other. It’s our only way forward. As Tracy Day, Managing Director of Ad Products and Innovation at Globe and Mail so poignantly pointed out in her address to the AMA Gala attendees, not everything is written by generative AI and that’s a great thing.