Nancy Roth Pitches In

May 23, 2007  •  Post A Comment

There’s nothing like a few new-business pitches to get your blood flowing. Or, when they’re successful, to get you promoted.
StarLink Worldwide last month promoted Nancy Roth to vice president from director of new business. Since Ms. Roth was put in charge of the new-business team in 2004, the agency has added clients including NBC Universal, Virgin Mobile, Supercuts and Rubbermaid.
She also oversees the agency’s out-of-home division and supervises a few clients, including Hewitt Associates, one of StarLink’s first clients.
Ms. Roth joined StarLink just after the agency launched, and has helped it grow in size and stature.
“When we first started here eight years ago, we had a lot of clients [for whom] we had to explain who they are and what they did, and we’re not in that boat anymore, which is great,” she said. Now the agency serves “nationally recognized brands that are doing great work. It’s been exciting to watch all the growth.”
In pitching new business, Ms. Roth said her team starts with consumer insights, then looks for something unique to bring to the table. That something unique often is in the world of digital.
“Our work in digital is phenomenal,” she said. “Everyone is moving in that direction. Some clients are moving a little slower than others. We like to make sure that we’re bringing concepts and ideas to all of our clients across that platform.”
Ms. Roth said she enjoys working with current clients, but added it is sometimes easier to do more innovative work for prospects in a pitch scenario.
“You can take more risks and go out there a little bit further,” she said.
With consumers consuming media in new and different ways, the agency is trying to keep a fresh eye on current clients to make sure they’re doing what the current market demands and going further out onto the cutting edge.
Sometimes it’s necessary to get “out of everyone’s traditional comfort zone and be willing to look at something in a new way and in a different way,” Ms. Roth said.
Ms. Roth grew up in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook, Ill., and attended the University of Wisconsin with plans to be an accountant, until she proved to be horrible at it, she said. She had a sister in advertising, took a few classes, and bingo.
“It came so easy to me, and I thought, this is what it’s like not to struggle,” she said. “I changed my major very quickly and studied advertising and mass communications.”
She began her career at Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago, then moved to Foote Cone & Belding before joining Starcom in 1999 as an associate media director. She moved to sister agency StarLink in its early years.
In her spare time, she loves to play golf. She also likes to travel with her parents and sisters and takes at least a big trip every other year “that’s just for me.”
She recently celebrated her 40th birthday by flying herself and a few friends to Las Vegas. “They were a lot tamer than I wanted them to be,” she said. “I wanted to do something fun. I feel like if you have to get older, then you should really just have a good time.”
WHO KNEW: When she was a kid, Ms. Roth went to the Harand Theater Camp in Elkhart Lake, Wis., with Billy Zane and Jeremy Piven. They acted together in musicals such as “Guys and Dolls,” “The Pajama Game” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Ms. Roth hasn’t seen Mr. Piven “since his father kicked us out of the house because we were having an unofficial party of sorts,” she said. She’s not sure he would notice her if their paths crossed. “I don’t think Jeremy pays attention to anybody other than Jeremy. He was pretty much like that then. But Bill was always the nicest guy and I think he would probably still recognize me. People always recognized me because I have red hair.”


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