Suzanne, a 22-year agency veteran, becomes FCB NY’s first managing director
IPG-owned agency FCB has promoted Suzanne Santiago to EVP, managing director of the New York office, effective immediately. This is the first time FCB NY has appointed someone to the managing director role.
Suzanne joined the shop 22 years ago as a senior account executive working on the Chase business. As she rose through the ranks, Suzanne developed a specialty in navigating the complex, integrated brand architecture of government advertising accounts and other highly regulated industries—an expertise that’s helped significantly grow FCB NY’s business. Most recently, Santiago held the role of director of business leadership, overseeing the 30-person account management department and running the agency’s FDA Centre for Tobacco Products’ public education campaigns.
“Suzanne’s exceptional business mind and creative taste has always helped her lead her teams to deliver on our core promise of creativity as an economic multiplier,” said Emma Armstrong, president of FCB NY. “She’s been an integral part of the growth and success of our agency, not just from a new business and client service standpoint – which she has slayed in spades – but also when it comes to the growth of our people and our culture. We’re all incredibly fortunate to have her in this new role.”
In 2004, Suzanne was part of FCB NY’s winning pitch team for the ONDCP (Office of National Drug Control Policy), for which she became the account director. FCB NY went on to retain the business five years later following a mandatory re-solicitation, during which time they launched the successful ‘Above The Influence’ campaign platform. Suzanne continued to manage the account until it was defunded by Congress in 2012. That same year, one of Suzanne’s ONDCP clients moved to the FDA Center for Tobacco Products to launch a brand new youth tobacco education campaign which FCB pitched and won. Naturally, Suzanne was added to the team. Suzanne has run the account ever since, helping FCB to win it two more times following each five-year mandatory review, the most recent of which was in 2021.The FDA Center for Tobacco Products remains the New York agency’s largest account by revenue.
Citing one of her proudest professional achievements, Suzanne said that in the first two years FCB NY worked on the business, the FDA’s tobacco education multimedia campaign, ‘The Real Cost,’ helped prevent more than a half million teens from becoming established smokers. Ever since, the campaign has served to consistently educate young people on the dangers of smoking, vaping, and dipping, using a robust paid media strategy to reach teens and change their tobacco-related knowledge, beliefs, and behaviours. ‘The Real Cost’ initiatives have employed unique content with some of the biggest influencers and media properties, including video game developments with Xbox and content co-created with the Marvel and Rick and Morty platforms.
In all, the campaign has already saved $53 billion for youth, their families, and society at large by reducing smoking-related costs like early loss of life, costly medical care, lost wages, lower productivity, and increased disability.
FCB NY’s Co-CCO Michael Aimette said: “There are very few business leaders that understand, recognise and strive for great creative work more than Suzanne. The work that she shepherded on FDA speaks for itself: super relevant, out there, compelling creative that has made a significant difference in teenagers’ lives. If she’s in the room, we know that the best idea will be the idea that gets made.”
Over the past two decades at FCB, Suzanne has demonstrated the ability to consistently drive results for clients including AARP, Ad Council, Amtrak, AT&T, Barclaycard, Canon, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Fidelity Investments, Four Seasons, JPMorgan Chase, Milkbone, Lockheed-Martin, the US Postal Service, and the Internal Revenue Service. Having experienced 10 agency leadership teams, four agency name changes, three offices and nine promotions, Santiago is the personification of FCB’s mantra, ‘Never Finished.’
“My new job will be to take everything I’ve done and learned up to this point and inspire my colleagues to meet challenges and do their best work,” Suzanne said. Though she will remain on the FDA account in an advisory role, Santiago said she looks forward to the next phase of her career as a leader and mentor. “As managing director, I’ll get to be a mentor on a macro level, and not just on a one-on-one basis, as I’ve done most of my career.”
Before joining FCB, Suzanne was an account executive at DDB in New York and prior to that, at a recruitment agency working on an account that later evolved into Monster.com.