Esther Franklin named Ad Woman of the Year

Esther "E.T" Franklin

Esther “E.T” Franklin


Franklin will be
honored at a
ceremony held
in the fall


(Chicago — 28 June 2018) The Chicago Advertising Federation is proud to announce that Esther “E.T.” Franklin, Executive Vice President, Managing Director of Strategy and Cultural Fluency, Spark Foundry, has been selected as its 2018 Advertising Woman of the Year. This annual honor recognizes a woman in the Chicago advertising community who has contributed greatly to both her company and the industry at-large, advanced the practice of advertising through her development of concepts and innovations and fostered the growth and development of others.

“We are absolutely thrilled to honor Esther as our 2018 Chicago Advertising Federation Ad Woman of the Year. She embodies the quintessential honoree having made tremendous contributions to her company, to our industry, mentoring others and continuing to advance the field of advertising. She is truly an inspiration,” said Lizette Williams, President, Chicago Advertising Federation.

“I am honored to be recognized as the Chicago Advertising Federation’s Woman of the Year,” Franklin said. “To be recognized alongside the incredible women that have come before me is a truly humbling experience. I look forward to harnessing this platform to empower even more women in the advertising community and beyond.”

With a career rooted in Chicago for more than 38 years, Franklin is an integral leader in the city’s advertising community. She started her trailblazing career at Burrell Communications and Johnson Publishing, before joining Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett Advertising in 1993.

Throughout her career, Franklin’s deep understanding of consumer insights and passion for authentic advertising have shown through. The cutting-edge “LeoShe” program, developed during her time at Leo Burnett, introduced a unique and forward-thinking approach to advertising to women. The program received praise across the industry and beyond – even garnering Franklin a feature on the “Oprah Winfrey Show.” Franklin also established Starcom Mediavest Group’s Cultural Identities Center of Excellence and Cultural Communication Anthropology discipline, providing important and insightful perspectives into marketing and connecting with multicultural communities.

Today, Franklin serves as Executive Vice President, Managing Director of Strategy and Cultural Fluency for Spark Foundry, where she pioneers the agency’s approach to strategy. Her most recent innovation is an end-to-end product development framework, entitled “HEAT,” which enables Spark Foundry’s teams to collaborate and build robust plans that can withstand disruption and serve clients to the highest standard. Franklin’s experience and boundary-breaking viewpoints have served the company well, enriching Spark Foundry’s successful pitches for major accounts such as, Macy’s, Marriott International and Southwest Airlines.

In her life outside the office, Franklin has been a role model to many by demonstrating her generosity and expertise through volunteerism in support of a variety of community groups. She is currently active on the Board of Directors for both the Chicago Urban League and The Family Institute at Northwestern University, and previously sat on the advisory board for The HistoryMakers—an organization on the forefront of educating and enlightening millions worldwide through refashioning a more inclusive record of American history.

“Esther is a bona fide innovative thinker and pioneer. Her willingness to push the envelope and go where no one else has gone before has allowed her to develop ideas that are truly revolutionary. Additionally, Esther is an incredibly impactful and dependable leader who is dedicated to lifting up those around her,” Spark Foundry Global Brand President and U.S. CEO Chris Boothe said. “All of us at Spark Foundry are profoundly lucky and grateful to have her as a member of our team. We are thrilled to see her receive this honor – we can’t imagine anyone more deserving.”

About The Chicago Advertising Federation
The Chicago Advertising Federation exists to inspire creativity and foster momentum in Chicago’s advertising industry. For more information about CAF visit

For more information about CAF please contact:

Justin Dreyfuss | CAF | | 847-686-2286

About Spark Foundry
Spark Foundry is one of six global media agency brands within Publicis Media, and has offices within Publicis One, both of which are key divisions of Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40]. Spark Foundry’s bold vision harnesses a startup spirit with a powerhouse soul that melds an entrepreneurial, innovative business approach with the full resources, capabilities and marketplace clout of Publicis Media. With 3,500 employees across the world, the agency leverages the best industry talent and a growing footprint of offices in key markets including the U.S., UK, MENA, Poland, Australia and China.

For more information about Spark Foundry and to arrange interviews with Esther Franklin, please contact:

Joe Moscone | Spark Foundry | | 212.468.3723

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