Industry Profile: Carat Australia chief strategy officer Linda Fagerlund

25 August 2020

Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

This week we speak to Carat Australia chief strategy officer Linda Fagerlund.

Time at the company:
Just a few months.

How would you describe what the company does?
We are a media agency that creates better connections between people and brands.

What do you do day-to-day?
I lead the agency’s strategic product offering, and the overall brand strategy for Carat. In other words, I help connect the dots (all our assets and capabilities) to create value for the agency and our clients.

Define your job in one word:
Thought-provoking.

I got into advertising because:
I’ve always been fascinated by the power of storytelling and the human psyche. After an initial toss-up between careers in journalism or psychology, I think I’ve accidently landed somewhere nicely in the middle funnily enough.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Finding clarity and direction in a very messy world. Focussing on the things we should do is the challenge.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
Racial and cultural bias. As a person of colour, I hope to see our industry have some honest conversations about what that means for people and their experiences inside and outside of work.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
Ikon, Match Media, News Corp, Leo Burnett, Spark Foundry.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
Emma Montgomery, global CSO at TBWA. Her blend of creativity, intelligence and wit. She taught me the value of being fiercely passionate about the work. No one else will fight for it but you. A brilliant strategic mind, and also a fantastic human.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Your craft is important but to make things actually happen, you need the art of diplomacy. From getting people on side to support and champion your thinking, to manoeuvring teams in the right way to get to the best possible ideas and outcomes. Focus on the relationships, and the ‘work’ will be much easier and more rewarding.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
An interior designer.

My mantra is:
There is beauty in simplicity. It helps me question what the true essence of an insight or idea is and if it can work in its barest form.

My favourite advert is:
I don’t have an all-time favourite, but one that I’m still impressed by is Always ‘Like A Girl’. A brilliant insight and idea that makes us re-examine our cultural norms. People still talk about it, and that’s a testament to its legacy.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
Netflix, Stan, Amazon, Spotify. If there’s good content anywhere, I’ll find a way to get it.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I still don’t know how to drive a car.

In five years' time I'll be:
Behind the wheel, as the world’s most enthusiastic designated driver.

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