At the pinnacle of her career in healthcare advertising, Carol DiSanto served as President/Managing Partner of Cline, Davis & Mann (CDM) and as Director of The SSCG Group, the agency holding company that includes CDM, Lab9, and AgencyRx. In her more than 27 years at CDM, she strategically grew agency talent from 60 employees dedicated to a single healthcare client to more than 1000 people within 8 divisions focusing on over 40 clients.
A true luminary within the healthcare leadership sphere, Carol has actively coached and mentored employees within the organization, and her visionary approach to management has changed the way agencies approach employee management.
With a business and personal style entrenched in grace, Carol’s strong voice of reason and common-sense approach to issues has helped CDM continuously earn recognition as a most admired agency and resulted in the agency retaining top talent.
A graduate of the State University of New York at Oneonta where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics, Carol began her career in consumer advertising at Esty, working on OTC consumer products from Whitehall Laboratories/American Home Products.
Carol joined CDM in 1987 and launched the first OTC consumer product the agency had at that time, Equalactin from Pfizer. As Account Lead she helped establish the agency’s ability to function in the OTC markets, bringing great experience from her work in the consumer world.
Always setting her sights on new opportunities, Carol guided agency team memebers to learn and become experts in film and TV. Her success in this arena set up her career chapter as Executive Producer of the newly established CDM Film/Video department, placing her mark on a new capability that continues to be at the core of the agency’s services.
When Viagra’s launch was on the horizon in the late 1990’s, Carol and her consumer expertise were recruited, resulting with her again serving at the front lines of client service. As the DTC lead, she partnered with Kyle Barich as profession lead and helped create the agency’s first DTC launch. The results—Viagra was the most successful drug launch in the history of our industry at the time.
In the 2000’s Carol was appointed Director of Client Services for CDM. New to the role, having never directly overseen or led a professional Rx account, her impeccable talents in hiring, listening, deploying and motivating talented people, made this promotion an obvious decision for agency leaders.
Known for her trailblazing leadership acumen, Carol was always willing to step into the unknown, leading the agency to develop skills, departments, and capabilities never established before. She devoted her career to client satisfaction as well as nurturing agency talent, many of whom are thriving today because of the time and energy Carol devoted to them.
Carol’s profound impact within the healthcare communications sphere can be seen in the robust number of prominent industry leaders who credit Carol for their success. Agency CEOs, Presidents, Chief Creative Officers and more, the sheer number of people who credit Carol’s mentorship for their success is staggering.
A postretirement certification as a Bell Leadership Institute trainer provides Carol the opportunity to continue her influencer role. Mirroring Bell’s mission to help people develop their personal effectiveness and leadership skills to contribute to humankind, she has taught over 100 Omnicom Health Group leaders to “build themselves first” and work on their own leadership compass, to better help them work with and lead others.
Carol has dedicated her career to championing agency talent and developing future leaders. Her leadership prowess, impeccable grace, and visionary wisdom have served her colleagues and benefited the agency. Whether she was building new businesses, implementing successful drug launches, or consolidating services for the agency’s largest client, she succeeded by strategically creating a roadmap where no others have gone before. A true leader who has led by example, she has left her personal mark upon an entire generation of leaders, all who emulate her graceful and innovative style of leadership. Carol DiSanto is truly deserving to be inducted in to the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame.