Horizon Media Promotes Anita Paul

Nov 28, 2007  •  Post A Comment

When Anita Paul arrived in the United States from the Philippines as a 10-year-old, the first thing she noticed was the billboards.
Ms. Paul, recently promoted to VP and brand group director in the Los Angeles office of Horizon Media, promptly fell in love with advertising.
She studied marketing and advertising at the University of Southern California before landing a job at DMB&B, working on the NBC account. At the time, Horizon was DMB&B’s spot-buying partner.
Ms. Paul’s career has taken her through a bunch of agencies and accounts, but they led her back to L.A. and the entertainment category.
“And now I’m at Horizon, which still has the NBC account, even after all these years,” she said.
The NBC assignment includes spot buying for USA Network, Sci Fi Channel, Telemundo, KNBC-TV and local Telemundo affiliates.
Ms. Paul’s group also is responsible for the Forest Lawn Memorial Parks account, final resting place to show business legends including Walt Disney and Clark Gable.
Not surprisingly, Horizon tries to reach older consumers for Forest Lawn primarily using print. But it has tested TV, buying time on older-skewing stations as well as local cable in Palm Springs, Calif. With older people going online, the agency sees prospects there, too, Ms. Paul said.
“When you have something like Forest Lawn, it’s a smaller account obviously,” she said. “But we have to make sure we give enough insights that, yes, the stuff you do is good, but in order to grow, you have to be proactive and aware of the changing landscape as well.”
Since her recent promotion, Ms. Paul said she gets more involved in new business, contract negotiations and mentoring younger staffers.
“It’s really about leadership and being able to take advantage of that,” she said.
Earlier in her career, after her first job at DMB&B, she moved briefly to Seattle, where she worked at MediaCom.
“I didn’t have a life for six months,” she recalled. “I spent more on coffee than I did on real food. It wasn’t conducive to good health.”
She moved back to Los Angeles as a freelancer, getting a taste of life at smaller shops including Asher & Partners, Chiat/Day and Ground Zero.
She then worked on the Ditech.com account at Intermedia Advertising, which was primarily a direct-response assignment.
It made her appreciate Horizon’s approach to business.
“Whereas the DR was about getting the phone calls and ROI, this was about determining what the consumer does and how they interact with all the media out there,” she said. “It’s fascinating going from spots and dots to consumer experience.”
Ms. Paul and her family moved to America with her stepfather, who was in the U.S. Navy. The family moved from Maryland to Alaska and then to California. She went to three different high schools, including a stint back in the Philippines, before going to college at USC.
Her stepfather’s name was Smith, which masked her ethnic identity, as does Paul, her ex-husband’s last name.
“People always picture me as this white girl, and I’m this short Filipino girl,” she said.
In her spare time, Ms. Paul likes to work out and be active. She recently ran her first marathon, completing the L.A. Marathon in five hours and 24 minutes. She’d been aiming to finish in less than five hours, having run half-marathons in 2 hours 17 minutes and less.
“It doesn’t work that way,” she said. “After the 19th mile, your body falls apart.”
Ms. Paul also travels with her 7-year-old daughter.
“I’ve taken her to Paris and Italy and Spain and Mexico,” she said. “We do girl trips.”
Who knew: If she was ever able to leave the advertising business, Ms. Paul would like to open either a tea shop or a kids spa. The kids spa idea comes from her daughter, who is all about “girly things and getting makeovers,” she said. The tea shop would serve high tea, allowing Ms. Paul to sample mini-sandwiches and pastries, which her trainer wouldn’t appreciate. “That is my secret passion, to eat all the carbs I want,” she said.


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