Silver Apples 2018

Presented in partnership with DMCNY

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Meet the DMCNY 2018 Silver Apple Honorees

By Ginger Conlon | 9.19.18

Each year the DMCNY presents its highly distinguished Silver Apple Awards to several professionals who have at least 25 years in marketing and who not only have excelled in their careers, but also have generously contributed their talents and time to the marketing industry. We'll be introducing you to the 2018 honorees over the next few weeks, in advance of DMCNY's annual Silver Apples celebration on November 8 in New York. 

Today, meet...

Stu Ingis

Chairman, Venable LLP

Honoree: Advocacy Apple of Excellence

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If there’s a U.S. policy or regulation that impacts marketing, there’s a high probability that Stu Ingis argued for or against it in Washington.


For the entirety of his career, Stu has defended companies in investigations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and State Consumer Protection Authorities—and continues to do so. He represents media, communications, information services, advertising, and retail companies. Additionally, he advises businesses on marketing, advertising, and privacy laws and works with Venable’s

compliance team to conduct assessments of companies’ privacy practices, and then design and implement compliance systems.


Stu’s impact is felt far beyond his work with individual companies. He is the general counsel, marketing counsel, and government affairs and privacy counsel to the DMA. He serves as Washington advertising and privacy counsel to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and as counsel to the Digital Advertising Alliance. Coauthor of Privacy Protection in the United States: A Survey, Stu is also highly sought-after thought leader on privacy, marketing, advertising, eCommerce, and Internet law. 


His effectiveness in advancing self- and peer regulation and in bringing marketing and advertising ecosystem players together led to his appointment as chairman of Venable LLP in 2017. It also brings him industry notoriety. Stu has been listed repeatedly in the first tier of privacy attorneys in Chambers USA, Legal 500, and ComputerWorld.

In a conversation with MKTGinsight for DMCNY, Stu shared some career history, advice, and insights. 


What drew you to marketing?

My years of working for the DMA is what got me into in this business—

starting at the beginning of my career. The DMA was a client of the firm I joined right out of law school. My first project for a partner there was to analyze and make comments on a proposal to regulate email. Ultimately, that proposal became the CAN-SPAM Act. 


Why is so important to you to advocate for marketing and marketers?

It's a hugely important community. Industries have their representation in Washington and I have the privilege of representing the marking and

advertising industries. 


I’ve had the great opportunity to be a front-row observer to some of the most interesting policy issues of our time around the use of data and the development of the internet, which the marketing world has been so important to. And I've been involved in every major policy debate around the internet and data and marketing and communication—from representing dozens of witnesses, to congregational testimony, to big enforcement actions, to getting a number of laws passed, to writing self-regulatory codes and standards.


Tell us about a particular career highlight or turning point.

One is the passage of the CAN-SPAM Act, which preserved and allowed a commercial email industry to develop and exist. We were the lawyers that beat

the Federal Trade Commission when they created the Do-Not-Call List—only to have it overturned by an act of Congress. And, we've done a lot of work on industry-wide self-regulation, the DMA data standards, and the creation of the Digital Advertising Alliance. 


What excites you most about marketing right now? 

The level of innovation. For years, we had debates with policy makers who didn't like certain communications or marketing, and they would say, "If you could give us only the ads we want, and the marketing we want, about products and services we want..." Well, we're finally delivering that Holy Grail, creating products and advertising and marketing that consumers want at the time they want it. That's a great thing, and at the same time, we have a whole big policy debate around privacy going on.


What’s overhyped in marketing right now?

The whole privacy concern is overhyped. What's not getting its fair recognition, in the policy world, is all of the innovation that the marketing community brings to society. For instance, they're bringing real-time targeted marketing to television and delivering marketing communications that consumers are interested in on a personalized basis.


Share a treasured customer story. 

When we were working on the Do-Not-Call List litigation, we got word from the court that the decision was going come out soon. So, Lou Mastria, the DMA press guy at the time, started writing a press release as if we lost the case. Ron Pletzer, the lawyer I worked for back then, said to Lou, "But what if we win?"


Two hours later we won. The then-CEO of the DMA, Bob Wientzen, was out at a dinner—and this was pre-cell-phone days—so we had to track him down to tell him we won. We said, "Are you sitting down? We won the litigation; there'll be no Do-Not-Call List." And he said to us, "Holy shit, now what do we do?"


It's been like that many times; for example: the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which regulates the use of data to market to kids; the first FTC Privacy Enforcement Action, where we represented the defendant in that case, which started to lay out the legal framework of the FTC's involvement in privacy and marketing; and the Junk Fax Prevention Act, which permitted sending your marketing faxes to fax machines. Yeah, some of the issues have not always been the most popular at the dinner table.


What advice do you have for someone who's just starting out in marketing?

Take the long view. Work really hard; don't worry about the compensation or the glory, and then persevere. Stay with it. Don't switch jobs all the time thinking that something else is always better. If you develop your skills, the good work will come to you. You don't have to go to it.


What was the piece of business advice that you’ve received?

I'd been representing the DMA for about two years, and I had an opportunity to leave the law firm and go out in the early internet age at Yahoo!. 


Yahoo! stock was going up. I would have made millions of dollars a day. I went to Ron Plesser and said, "I like working for you; I like the clients; I like the work I'm doing. But I could go get really rich working for this company." He said, "Why do you want to do that? It'll ruin your life." For whatever reason, I actually believed him and agreed with him. And I stayed at my job. It was probably the best decision I ever made. I don't regret it for a second.


Share an inspiring quote or personal motto that guides you.

It's, "Your trend is not destiny." And that's second only to, "When in doubt, eat."

Read about the other DMCNY 2018 Silver Apple honorees:

  • Anita Absey, Chief Revenue Officer, Voxy

  • Matt Blumberg, Chairman and CEO, Return Path

  • Pamela Haas, Senior Account Director, Experian Marketing Services

  • Keira Krausz, EVP and CMO, Nutrisystem

  • Tim Suther, SVP and GM, Data Solutions, Change Healthcare

  • Disruptor Apple of Excellence: Bonin Bough, Founder & Chief Growth
    Officer, Bonin Ventures; Investor; Host of CNBC's Cleveland Hustles;
    Author of Txt Me (646) 759-1837 

  • Corporate honoree: Winterberry Group

About the Author

Ginger Conlon, chief editor and marketing alchemist at MKTGinsight, catalyzes change in marketing organizations. She is a frequent speaker on marketing and customer experience, and serves in advisory or leadership roles for several industry organizations. Ginger was honored with a Silver Apple lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the marketing industry.

Find her at @customeralchemy and on LinkedIn.