Meet the Global Marketer of the Year 2020 nominees: Ivan Pollard, General Mills

Meet the Global Marketer of the Year 2020 nominees: Ivan Pollard, General Mills

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Ivan Pollard, SVP, Global Chief Marketing Officer, General Mills, is one of the six global marketers shortlisted for this year's WFA Global Marketer of the Year award in partnership with The Drum

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  • Author:WFA


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18 December 2020

Read The Drum interview with Ivan: General Mills marketing boss on how 2020 meant working better with rest of business

Ivan is responsible for the marketing philosophies and practices of GMI that bring their powerful portfolio of brands to life in the modern world.  

He leads a team focused on advancing capabilities, community and creativity for the 1,000+ marketers working around the globe.

Ivan was most recently Senior Vice President, Strategic Marketing for Coca-Cola North America. During his time at Coca-Cola, he was responsible for developing strategies to more effectively deploy over $2 billion media spend around the world.

In the North American Coca-Cola business, Ivan instituted new data-driven approaches to connections planning, management of digital platforms, media, sponsorships, and content creation.

Prior to joining Coca-Cola, he was a Global Partner in Naked Communications, the world’s largest connections planning company, and had leading roles in global agencies such as BMP [now DDB Needham], and Wieden+Kennedy.  Pollard was a founding partner of Unity that started the discipline of “Connections Planning”.

Why vote for Ivan?

“Listen. I am truly humbled to be in this list but please do not vote for me. 

These other five magnificent marketers deserve it much more. Why? Because I know the truth about what I have done. The work General Mills is doing making food the world loves, and food the world needs right now, is work done by 1,000 dedicated marketers. Not by me. 

Those marketers were all finally emerging from the long shadow of 3G and beginning to believe in brand building again but then the pandemic hit and there were challenges to health, wellbeing, jobs and equality all around the world.

That could have thrown us off track but instead our marketers continued to boldly build brands, spend behind delighting consumers, drive growth for our business and do enormous good as they did so. 

That involved donating tens of millions of meals to the hungry, finding ways to feed school kids who were not at school, helping regenerate the earth and, most proudly, standing up for what is fair and right in the world we want to see tomorrow by using their marketing magic today to change the way people think and feel.  Especially in our hometown of Minneapolis where George Floyd was killed.

That makes me proud. But it was not me. It was them. Each and every one of them.

So, please don’t vote for me. This is not spin. It is the truth.”

Also shortlisted for WFA Global Marketer of the Year 2020 are: