Ad Standards CEO Jani Yates retires

Jani Yates has officially closed the book on a career in Canadian advertising spanning more than 40 years, the past seven of which were spent as CEO of Ad Standards.

Yates will be succeeded by Catherine Bate (below), who has an extensive background in advertising law and joined Ad Standards in 2019 as chief legal and policy officer and corporate secretary. She took over as president and chief legal officer in 2021.

Yates informed Ad Standards of her plan to retire this year when she first joined the organization in 2016, and has spent the past year working with Bate on the organization’s succession plan.

“Catherine and I share the goal of supporting industry through building trust in advertising,” said Yates in a release. “I have confidence that the expertise and dedication Cathy brings to this role will be of tremendous benefit to Ad Standards in its mission.”

Prior to joining Ad Standards in 2016, Yates spent 18 years with the Institute of Canadian Agencies, including nine years as president.

She began her career in account services, working with agencies in Montreal, New York and Toronto. “When you look at my LinkedIn profile, it makes me laugh that the agencies I worked at don’t exist, but I really did work in account servicing,” she told The Message via email.

In April, the International Council for Ad Self-Regulation presented Yates with its Hall of Fame award for her service to the industry, and her development and promotion of advertising self-regulation. In a Twitter post today, ICAS acknowledged Yates as a “strong supporter” who fostered the development of its global network.

“Jani achieved so much of lasting value to the advertising industry. I am honoured to have the opportunity to build upon what she accomplished at Ad Standards,” said Bate. “Advertising self-regulation plays a crucial and unique role, sitting at the intersection of the public, regulators, and the advertising industry.”

Yates also took on several board roles throughout her career, including chairing both Nabs and the AdClub of Toronto, and serving on the board of governors for the ACTRA Fraternal Benefits Society. She recently earned her ICD.D designation, having completed the Institute of Corporate Directors Director Education Program, and plans to continue her board work post-retirement.

“I turn 65 on May 1, and I’m excited about my next chapter called retirement,” she said. “I earned the ICD.D designation and want to continue giving back as a board member to an industry that I have been honoured to be a part of for more than 40 years.”

Chris Powell