Ad Fontes Media, the media bias and reliability intelligence leader and producer of The Media Bias Chart®, today announced the appointment of Lou Paskalis as Chief Strategy Officer. Mr. Paskalis has three decades of experience as a top executive for global organizations, including Bank of America, American Express, E. & J. Gallo Winery and, most recently, MMA Global, where he also served on the board for nine years. Mr. Paskalis is well known for his passionate commitment to responsible media and news and remains an active member of various industry associations. In his new role, Mr. Paskalis will be responsible for Ad Fontes Media’s strategy development around future challenges for advertisers in the changing media ecosystem, market expansion and brand and agency relations, as well as contributing to the ongoing success of clients.
Ad Fontes Media’s mission is to rate all news content in order to positively transform our information ecosystem and consequently our society at-large. In support, the company provides businesses, consumers, educators and platforms with the intelligence and solutions needed to successfully navigate today’s complex and dynamic news landscape. Since Ad Fontes Media launched as a public benefit corporation in 2018, the company’s commercial success has skyrocketed as it is increasingly becoming the solution of choice for brands, agencies, publishers, and ad tech platforms committed to responsible and effective media, including Comscore and a number of other giants.
With a long tenure on the client side of the advertising ecosystem, Mr. Paskalis will further strengthen the ability of Ad Fontes Media to serve its commercial customers. He has proven himself as an outspoken and effective champion on their behalf his entire career. At Bank of America, that included pioneering the world’s preeminent Brand Safety and Suitability practice, which has become the model for how other Fortune 500 companies address this rapidly expanding area of responsibility and advocating for greater advertiser support of quality news journalism.
“To say we are excited Lou has joined us as Chief Strategy Officer is an understatement,” said founder and CEO Vanessa Otero. “Lou is the most recognized and courageous champion of responsible media in the industry. The fact that he has decided to help charter success for Ad Fontes Media and our clients is a huge milestone for our company, clients and the industry at-large.”
“Joining Ad Fontes Media gives me the best possible platform to continue to advocate for the rebalancing of the priorities that marketers approach the news media marketplace with to reflect their responsibility to support journalism while ensuring that their investments are supporting those news platforms that traffic in truth and not those who peddle agenda laden falsehoods to attract and retain their audiences in-order to line their pockets. Marketers need to transact responsibly while still making good on their media and fiscal commitments,” said Paskalis. “It also gives me, Ad Fontes Media and other industry leaders the opportunity to erase the myth that responsible and effective media are a trade-off. That is lazy marketing and 2023 is the year to acknowledge it and move ahead. Marketers working with us are already learning that doing good is good business when it comes to investing their advertising dollars in credible news platforms and publications because their audiences are rich in influential thought leaders in their respective circles and have above average buying power in the marketplace.
The confluence of consumers “shopping their values” more than ever before, the progression of global privacy laws and the increased pressure it put on media buyers and sellers to take media responsibility seriously and Ad Fontes Media’s momentum in the market all compelled the timing of Mr. Paskalis’ onboard.
Said Paskalis, “While I’d been getting to know Vanessa and her incredible Ad Fontes Media team for sometime, once 2023 rolled in and I took into account the increasing polarization of consumers, largely attributable to ad supported platforms knowingly or unknowingly pushing misinformation and disinformation, new, comprehensive data privacy laws taking effect in California and other states, and saw the interest in Ad Fontes Media across a set of serious buyers and sellers I’ve known and respected my entire career grow enormously, I knew it was time to step-in and help Ad Fontes Media and my peers to work together to drive business and our industry forward.”
Rishad Tobaccowala, Author, Speaker and Former Chief Strategist Publicis Groupe, has this to say about Paskalis’ appointment: “Lou Paskalis knows the media and marketing eco-system like a top Sherpa knows the Himalayas. Today, when trust is key to Brands and trust is increasingly hard to establish, one key is for Marketers and their partners to ensure that trusted news sources are funded both for the benefit of brands and society, which is why this appointment by Ad Fontes Media is so promising”
During Q4 2022 and throughout Q1 2023, Ad Fontes Media’s growth has skyrocketed. This week, in conjunction with the news of Mr. Paskalis appointment, the company also announced a $4.2M investment from Aion Ventures, New Community Transformation Fund, and others.
Ad Fontes Media deems the capital round announced this week as recognition of the company’s product-market fit and fuel for its next key client-side investments. To win in the market, the company will stay focused on ensuring the intelligence and products its clients entrust in it to deliver are the best possible solutions for their needs.”
In addition to his roles as Chief Strategy Officer for Ad Fontes Media, Mr. Paskalis will continue to operate AJL Advisory, a consultancy focused on coaching senior level executives in developing winning marketplace narratives. He continues to serve on several Advisory Councils including: Advertiser Perceptions, FxM, Safeguard Privacy, SnapChat, Twitter and VOX. Mr. Paskalis holds an MBA in finance and marketing and a B.S. in business management from the University of Notre Dame.