The Via Agency’s New President Scott MacLeod on What’s Next

Independent agency Via has promoted from within to launch its next phase of growth. The Portland, Maine agency has elevated longtime head of planning Scott MacLeod to president. In addition, the agency has expanded its four key specialty practices to help it handle more non-AOR business and retain its long-term clients.

MacLeod becomes the first president at the agency since now-CEO Leeann Leahy held the role when she first came to Via in 2012.

“Scott embodies a lot of what it means to be a Vian,” said Leahy in a statement. “He is endlessly curious, and his strategic prowess has been instrumental in our success since he joined the agency in 2011. His passion for understanding the power of creativity and problem-solving has already impacted our current clients and sets us up for great things in the future.”

In his new role, MacLeod will be responsible for expanding Via’s four key specialty practices: media and effectiveness; social; emerging technology; and brand consulting. Via has already been integrating these practices within the agency, but is now bolstering each one through monetization and creating new products. From a new business perspective, this gives Via an opportunity to engage a wider array of clients through specific practices, rather than only through creative AOR relationships.

As a new member of the executive team, MacLeod will help set and execute the agency’s vision and will be responsible for talent and training; working with Via’s head of technology to further integrate generative AI into Via’s workflow; and teaming with Via’s heads of strategy, business management and production to strengthen client partnerships, including those with Church & Dwight, Unilever, Golden Corral, Big Y and DCU.

Refining the four practices

Via was “born in 1993 and reborn every year since,” said MacLeod, meaning that the agency is constantly revising its practices and strategies to align with the needs of the clients.

MacLeod said that, as companies shift from AOR designations to project-based work, Via was looking for ways to give potential clients more doorways to work with the agency, which is what led to the development of the four practice areas.

Via saw a lot of creative potential in media, which it couldn’t tap into when it worked with outside vendors, so Via brought that in-house. That allowed the agency to go from fixed-play plans to fluid ones, bringing media and creative together immediately.

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