Hires, Wins & Business in association withAgency Futures
Publicis Production Welcomes Stephanie Mylam as Global Strategic Production Operations Director
Advertising Agency
Paris, France
LBB speaks to global strategic production operations director about her plans for the role, what leadership means to her and staying at the forefront of an ever-evolving industry

Publicis Production has recently moved to expand their global leadership team; one new member is Stephanie Mylam. She’s entering as the Groupe’s global strategic production operations director. Having traversed diverse roles at Sapient, Digitas, and Saatchi’s, Stephanie's career has seen her craft and implement centralised global production models for iconic brands such as Mercedes-Benz and NIVEA. Her pursuit of efficiency and excellence in MarComm production across multiple channels, including film, print and digital, has earned her a reputation as a true problem solver. 

Stepping into her new role, Stephanie is poised to lead the Groupe’s precision content offering, ushering in a new era of content creation, driven by data-led targeted content models and generative AI tools. In this interview we learn about her extensive experience fostering cross-functional team work and her passion for making content creation more agile and relevant. Here’s what Stephanie had to say: 

LBB> Congratulations on your appointment as the global strategic production operations director at Publicis Production! Could you share a little bit about your background and previous experience that led you to this role?

Stephanie> Thanks very much. I’m proud to be a part of the global leadership team led by Sergio Lopez.  

I’ve been with Publicis for eight years now and in that time I’ve had the opportunity to move about within Groupe. I’m ex everything; Sapient, Digitas and Saatchi’s. For the last five years I have designed, built and implemented Global Production models for large scale MarComm production across all channels – Film (Broadcast and Non-Broadcast), Print, Digital (incl. Social, Paid, DCO, Web & CRM), and delivery and clearance solutions. I craft and implement new ways of working within our production teams to ensure they operate at the highest levels of efficiency and have centralised production for global brands including Daimler Mercedes-Benz and Beiersdorf NIVEA. 

LBB> As the global strategic production operations director, what are your primary responsibilities and goals within the organisation?

Stephanie> Most recently, I have led automated production and data-led targeted content models, helping our production teams make the shift from manual production to delivering content at scale. I, like everyone, am now starting to work with generative AI tools; both within our production processes to help solve issues driven by the increase in content volumes and within the production of content itself.

LBB> Publicis Production operates globally. How do you plan to ensure effective coordination and collaboration across different regions and teams under your leadership?

Stephanie> I’m lucky to have spent the largest percentage of my time at Publicis working in a global role so, I have the advantage of being well connected across our global production footprint – this certainly makes life easier within a business of nearly 100.000 people!  I’m know as being a problem solver so this role now allows me to work across our entire business portfolio rather than being deep on just one client or industry vertical.  

LBB> The advertising and production industries are constantly evolving. What strategies do you plan to implement to keep Publicis Production at the forefront of innovation and industry trends?

Stephanie> These days we’re asked to solve complex marketing problems and old systems and processes aren’t necessarily the answer. What we make moves at pace, but I have always believed that so too should how we do it. Currently, all agencies and clients are keen to improve their marketing production approaches with the introduction of Gen AI.  At Publicis we want to ensure any Gen AI initiative is both truly relevant and ethically controlled and we take our responsibilities in this space seriously; not only are we focussed on developing long-term partnerships with some of the best Gen AI start-ups and LLM’s but Publicis Groupe is the first advertising holding company to serve as a Steering Committee member of the Coalition of Content Provenance Authenticity (C2PA) in order to uphold the concerns of brands and creators and contribute to the debate around IP, attribution, authentication and content 

I feel agencies have made a mistake of going to clients with a ‘tech-first’ based conversation and blinding them with cool tools. I still believe in a process-first approach. If you have the right foundations in place, then it’s easier to maximise operational efficiencies with a layer of technology to support efficiency and collaboration. Our clients shouldn’t be shackled to one agency proprietary tool when there are some truly amazing 3rd party providers in the marketplace today. The modern agency knows how to connect and curate the right tool-set for a client’s needs - both 3rd party and prop - showing flexibility, agility and inclusiveness when it comes to technology and innovation. 

LBB> In your opinion, what are some of the key challenges currently faced by production operations in the advertising industry, and how do you plan to address them?

Stephanie> We live in a platform-first world with an exponential need for content so, we need to make more content but without it losing creative bravery or relevancy. For the same or less money, in half the time. Moon, stick, anyone? 

Doing this effectively is hard. And complex. Clients are being driven by procurement teams who don’t see the value in investing in the creation of compelling digital content, even though stats still show that 70% of media efficiency is still generated by the creative execution; the agency that can deliver the lowest price per asset nearly always wins these days it seems, which is a bitter pill to swallow at the end of long pitch process.

However, and with all of that said, I’m still really excited by the future. We are standing on the edge of another of our industries great reinventions and this time it’s finally the time for production to take centre stage and flex it’s muscles. 

LBB> Collaboration between different departments and teams is essential for successful production operations. How do you plan to foster a culture of collaboration and cross-functional teamwork within Publicis Production?

Stephanie> I’ve been lucky enough to work within the Publicis ‘Power of One’ agency models for the past five years. Someone asked me the other day if PO1 was actually a real thing and not just a sales pitch but, I can tell you it really is a thing and it really, really does work. PO1 is a bespoke agency created specifically for clients that curates the right expertise from within the Publicis network to solve a clients specific problem. Because let’s face it, all clients are not the same and one size fits no-one. What this approach does is remove barriers created by country verticals and existing agency structures. Everyone, no matter where in the world they work, gets out of bed every day with the same goal and the same KPI. So, cross-culture, blurred agency lines and true collaboration is in my DNA. This is the way I work anyway and the one of the key ingredients I bring to the global team. My job at the moment requires me to bring together the key agency pillars; Media, Creative, Production and Data and it’s not an easy task I can tell you. It’s like trying to stick magnets together most of the time but it's vital to move content production forward because when you get it right, and teams truly work together, magic happens.

LBB> As a leader, what is your management style and how do you plan to inspire and motivate your team members to achieve their best work? 

Stephanie> I lead by example and I like to always be learning. Always with one foot in a client's business if I can. This helps me understand new tech and see its implementation within a business first-hand.  Production is a journey and you can always improve and do it better, no not better, differently (ok better) the next time around.  It’s constantly evolving and that’s what makes production such an exciting place to work. 

LBB> Lastly, what excites you the most about taking on this new role at Publicis Production, and what do you hope to accomplish during your tenure as the global strategic production operations director?

Stephanie> As I mentioned, we’re in exciting times right now. Connecting production to data is finally paying off. Working at Publicis, I hope to be a part of creating something that moves the production needle forward. A platform, a model, an approach that truly changes our client’s relationship with production; the way they know it now and how they will consider it in the future. It’s a big ask, no one is good with change but the time is now, we really are at the edge of a transformation within the production practice and I’m looking forward to the journey ahead.