Interview with Jana Savić Rastovac, creative director McCann Belgrade for the portal “Marketing mreža” / “Marketing Network”

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1.   You have been selected as one of the 385 women who work in advertising around the world, that advocate for gender equality in our industry through the initiative “Let’s make the industry 50/50”. How significant is this acknowledgement for you and your career?

Being among intelligent women who contributed with their work to shaping our industry as it is today is a great feeling. To me, this is a compliment, an affirmation of the value of what I have been doing in my advertising career until now and certainly a reminder that the good time has just began.

2. What does the initiative “Lets make the industry 50/50” ( represent precisely and in what way can it contribute to the improvement of the position of women in the business world and in our industry in Serbia?

The initiative was started by the global Art Director’s Club ( with the aim of making drastic and appreciable changes in regard to the role and involvement of women in the sector of creative industries. ADC believes that the time has come for the guild associations and organizations around the world to take action, by making the equal participation of women and men in jury members of the biggest world festivals, panels and educative programs, as well as in boards of directors, their goal. The 50/50 directory is there to emphasize profiles of qualified women in leadership positions in all creative industries and to support their involvement in the key events throughout the entire festival year, serving as an inspiration to the future generation of creative women at the same time.

3. A lot of people think that marketing communications are women’s work, yet when we look at the statistics we see that it is mostly men who take leadership positions in agencies. How do you explain that? In your opinion, is our occupation and society gender sensitive?

Women are not new in marketing, primarily in the fields of service, organization, client relationships, but when it comes to the field of creativity, that is a novelty. I think it took some time for the myth about the creative director as Done Draper of today, a seducer, authoritative owner of ingenious ideas that have never been seen before who sometimes slams the table with his fist, to disperse under the power of the arguments. And those are that a good idea is a matter of the brain, and the owner of the brain can also be a woman, and not necessarily a woman from Manhattan. Within the „I&F McCann Group“, a part of which is “McCann Belgrade”, there is a vast number of women in management positions, with us the 50/50 principle has been established long time ago, apparently in favor of the “softer gender”. It would be quite nice and useful for everyone to follow this example.

4. Can we say that the work of women in marketing is equally appreciated and valued as the work of men? When it comes to this, where do we sit in comparison to the rest of the world?

Good ideas and quality campaigns are what should come before the gender of authors or teams. I have always had the support for my progress in my agency. The results are the most important for evaluating one’s work. Her or his, it doesn’t matter.

5. In your opinion, what will be the key challenges in the field of marketing in 2015?

The annotation that every coming year will be even more challenging and demanding has become a frequent introductory statement in public speeches. This is nothing new to me. As usual, the basic task will be to answer to the needs of the brands and their communication in a fresh and inspiring way, in the conditions of reduced budgets and new technologies.


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