Sharon Lloyd Barnes is the Advertising Association’s new Commercial Director. In this introductory interview, Sharon takes us through her path to the new position and sets out her aims for the coming months.
What was your path to Front Foot?
My first job was in the media department of Davidson Pearce, then a top 10 ad agency, before moving to ad sales in women’s magazines in London and New York – where ultimately I was Ad Director for Bauer’s US weekly ‘Woman’s World’. It was an amazing experience working over there at that time – same language but culturally completely different.
My eldest son has autism, and when he was about three I set up a school with a couple of other parents. It opened in 2000 in a Portacabin with four children and now it’s grow to almost 80 children from almost every London borough, with a primary and secondary building. We’re looking at post-18 provision now, so it’s been an incredible journey from such humble beginnings.
I set up a business development consultancy about thirteen years ago – and then founded The Drive Partnership with my business partner David Mansfield in 2011, helping companies achieve profitable growth.
You have your own ideas, but from speaking to Front Foot members what do you sense are the main benefits of belonging to the exclusive network?
For me, the biggest benefit for members is having a seat at the table of this powerful group. By funding Credos, the industry’s think tank, Front Foot is able to initiate landmark research and industry engagement on a range of key issues.
I want to find out what value looks like for each member, because it’s intriguing that so far it’s slightly different for every organisation. Some, for example, want more profile-raising opportunities, for some it’s networking and for others it’s the reports that we do. We’ll make sure that the Front Foot calendar continues to reflect all those things.
What would you like to hear from the Front Foot members over the next few months?
I would love them to communicate with me and give really candid feedback or share ideas. The membership is the sum of its parts, and they are all its voice. I want us to be an authority and lead on our strategy, but the strategy is shaped by our members.
Sharon can be reached at Sharon.LloydBarnes@adassoc.org.uk