President and Chief Advertising Revenue Officer, ViacomCBS Domestic Advertising Sales
Rumors of the death of TV advertising have been much exaggerated, especially in the still buoyant pharmaceutical sector, where spend rose 65% in the past five years, 9% year on year in 2018, to $5.1 billion.
CBS is easily the market leader in the space, pocketing almost $1 billion from pharma ads in 2018, overseen by president and chief advertising revenue officer Jo Ann Ross.
As Ross told MM&M: “We’re the network of choice when it comes to pharma advertising. They spend the lion’s share of their upfront budgets with us and when new drugs come into the pipeline we get those as well.”
Sunday night, where football leads into 60 Minutes and other high-profile programming, is a particular strongpoint for CBS.
Ross has led CBS’ network ad sales since 2002 and is part of a cadre of senior female media bigwigs who have broken through in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
Whether as a pioneering sales exec or as a cancer survivor, Ross has shown the strength, determination and resiliency to get to the top while keeping her achievements in proper context. It’s not unreasonable to say she is the most influential power player in the pharma media landscape.