In the spotlight: APAN Portugal’s Manuela Botelho

In the spotlight: APAN Portugal’s Manuela Botelho

3 minute read

Meet Manuela Botelho, Secretary General of APAN

Article details

  • Author:WFA


18 June 2018

I was born and raised in… Mozambique until I was 16 years old. I found myself in a completely different environment when I moved to Portugal in 1974 during the decolonisation period. This change had a great impact on my life, as I lost contact with all my childhood friends who also returned to Portugal during this period and were dispersed throughout the country.

I studied… Business Administration without knowing exactly what I wanted to pursue as a career. During my five years of studies, commercial marketing and strategy piqued my curiosity and excited me the most. At that time there was no specific degree or academic field in marketing. While finishing my university degree I started working in the marketing department of a leading Portuguese juice company - Compal. That's when I decided to pursue a career in marketing.

When I started in the marketing industry… agencies were full service, there was no digital and TV was the most important medium to reach our target audiences. Creativity was king and we had the option to use and recycle the same advertising campaign for two or three years. Today, there is more complexity in the industry and in many cases, it is best practice to go ‘back to basics’ in marketing.

My proudest career achievement… is the pleasure of having worked in companies that were in their launching or relaunching stages and being able to follow the evolution of my work and my colleagues’ work. Building from scratch is the scenario and task which I most enjoy working on and being part of. In my personal life, I am proud to have been a mother at 40 years old and still have the energy to raise a Gen Z young boy…

Our priorities are… to continue to grow APAN’s membership, address policy issues on HFSS food advertising, and support our members around GDPR and digital transparency.

A very specific challenge in the marketing industry in my country is… digital transformation. Local publishers are facing major problems in this space, and we have Google and Facebook getting more than 80% of all digital investments. To address this, we have created a digital committee to discuss the major challenges our members are facing and define the main priorities of the association in this area.

If I could change one thing about the industry today, it would be… the client-agency relationship. The lack of transparency has eroded brands’ relationships with their partners, but we could reorganise ourselves in a way that each party trusts and respects each other.

What most people don’t know about me… is that I watched television for the first time when I was 16 years old. I am actually very happy about that, as I enjoyed a lot of playtime and the outdoors during my childhood and adolescence.

Three things about my country... Portuguese people, wine and weather makes Portugal a perfect host for Global Marketer Week 2019!

Want to know more about Manuela and APAN Portugal? Get in touch with her here.

This is part of a series of monthly interviews with heads of national advertiser associations in WFA membership.

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