Global Marketer of the Year 2017

WFA's Global Marketer of the Year 2017


The World Federation of Advertisers has launched the WFA Global Marketer of the Year Award to celebrate the role that regional and global marketers play in setting the course of our industry and inspiring others to be a force for good.

The aim is to showcase Global and Regional marketers who are truly making a difference. Those who are using the power of marketing to deliver better business results; those who are using their influence to change the way our industry operates for the better; and those who are helping to create a climate where smart, sensitive marketing can be accepted and welcomed by consumers.

The inaugural award went to Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever, who received the biggest number of votes from a shortlist of six leading marketers.

“A big congratulations to Keith on behalf of the global marketing industry. At a time when our industry is facing serious challenges, Keith has shown immense leadership. He is the purveyor of a portfolio of some of the world’s most purposeful brands, the architect of the Unstereotype Alliance and has been a pioneer in pushing for a better online advertising ecosystem,” said David Wheldon, WFA President & CMO RBS

The Shortlist

Global Marketer of the Year 2017 candidates
We received several nominations which were considered by our expert jury who were asked to vote for their 6 preferred candidates from the full list of candidates.

  • Hans-Christian Schwingen, Deutsche Telekom CMO

    Hans-Christian has led the reimagination of Deutsche Telekom, transforming it into a digital lifestyle brand rather than simply a telecoms provider.
    The brand claims that “Life is for sharing,” and under his leadership Deutsche Telekom has pioneered campaigns with a strong focus on the sharing of experiences, life lessons, ideas and knowledge between people.
    Recently this was epitomised in the company’s work with Alzheimer’s Research UK on developing the Sea Hero Quest mobile game, collecting more than 12,000 years’ worth of research information for scientists in an effort to help dementia research.
    Telekom is now ranked as the 2nd most valuable German brand in the world and the most valuable Telco brand in Europe by Brand Finance Global 500.
    He previously worked at Audi.

  • Glory Zhang, Huawei CMO

    Glory is an integral part of the Huawei success story and its growth to become one of the world’s largest smartphone brands. She joined the company in 2001, leading the East Asian sales team and helping it successfully penetrate 3G-developed markets such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan.
    She has pioneered many of the company’s international marketing efforts. She was the company’s first spokesperson and established the company’s public relations team. As marketing director for the company’s Honor sub-brand, she helped it sell 20m smartphones across 57 markets in 2014.
    Her reward for this success was to be named as Chief Marketing Officer for the company in March 2015, where she is responsible for the branding and marketing of Huawei’s global consumer business.

  • Jane Wakely, Mars CMO, Pet Nutrition

    Jane has pushed creative excellence at Mars and was one of the most awarded CMOs at Cannes in 2017, having played a key role in the development of the Snickers “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign.
    She’s played a role in two of the major issues facing marketers and businesses; digital transformation via her work on the Snickers Hungerithm activation in Australia as well as diversity and inclusion, where she championed the support of the Paralympics in 2016 through her work with Maltesers “Look on the Light Side” campaign.
    In her latest role at Mars as CMO of Mars’ Pet Nutrition division she has also led the development of the critically acclaimed Pedigree “Feed the Good” campaign, which has made an impact in communities and lives through the Dog Adoption program.
    She has worked at Mars since 2001, having previously worked at Procter & Gamble.

  • Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard Chief Marketing & Communications Officer and President - Healthcare Business

    Raja has been nominated for his role in driving the Mastercard brand and business. In the four years, he has boosted its brand valuation by more than $22bn, according to BrandZ, and put social causes at the heart of its marketing and created a new strategic framework for marketing.
    He is passionate about positive change and giving back and has put social causes at the core business of the company, via MasterCard’s marketing platform Priceless Causes. This effort has already raised nearly $42m for cancer research, leading to the discovery of two drugs that have been approved by FDA. From concept to FDA approval took just under 3 years, a remarkable achievement.
    He has previously worked at WellPoint, Humana, Citi, Diners Club North America and Unilever among others.

  • Marc S. Pritchard, Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer

    It’s been hard to avoid Marc Pritchard this year. He has publically demanded action on the “crappy digital supply chain” not just for Procter & Gamble but also for the wider industry.
    Starting in January at the IAB in Florida and continuing through Dmexco and other platforms, he has constantly kept up the pressure for reform and greater openness. By threatening to “vote with our dollars” he has turned disquiet into action.
    The next challenge he has set for the industry is to put sustainability, ethics and diversity at the heart of their communications. It’s an opportunity to use the power of the – cleaned up – digital technology to use advertising as a force for good and a force for growth.
    He has worked for Procter & Gamble since 1982 and took up his current role in 2014, having previously been Global Brand Building Officer.

  • Keith Weed, Unilever Chief Marketing & Communications Officer

    Keith Weed has been a long-term champion for brands with purpose, helping to shift the model of marketing to create a portfolio that successfully combines sustainable brands with business growth.
    This year he launched the Unstereotype Alliance, gathering industry support from rival brands, industry bodies and tech companies and the UN Women, all committed to ensuring that gender stereotypes have no place in the business. The pan-industry initiative builds on a Unilever commitment to remove gender stereotypes from its own messages made in 2016.
    Weed kicked off the client-side pressure for better governance around the digital ad space. Under his leadership Unilever has set the benchmark for improved viewability standards and leveraging of third party verification vendors, alongside – most recently at Advertising Week in new York calling for further action on ad fraud and brand safety.
    He has worked for Unilever since 1983 and took up his current role in 2010.

Our Jury

Chaired by WFA President and RBS CMO David Wheldon, the 2017 jury included a wide range of sector and regional expertise, making it perfectly equipped to identify those who make the biggest impact on the global marketing business.

  • David Wheldon CMO, RBS

    David is CMO of RBS and President of the World Federation of Advertisers. He started his career on the agency side before moving into brand marketing roles at Coca-Cola and Vodafone.

    Prior to joining RBS in July 2015, he was Managing Director of Brand, Reputation and Citizenship at Barclays

  • Stephan Loerke CEO, WFA

    Stephan is CEO of the World Federation of Advertisers, overseeing its work on marketing and public affairs as well as being a member of the WFA’s Executive Committee.
    Prior to joining the WFA, he worked at the United Nations in New York and later in marketing and management roles at L’Oréal.

  • Spencer Lee Commercial Director, AirAsia

    Spencer is the Commercial Director of AirAsia, leading the entire Malaysia commercial functions including marketing, ancillary, digital, route revenue and network planning.
    He believes a combination of effective leadership and a solid work culture that stresses openness, innovation and a ‘can-do’ spirit, has been key to the airline’s growth.

  • Jillian Gibbs Founder and Global CEO, APR

    Jillian is the Founder and Global CEO of Advertising Production Resources (APR), helping advertisers optimise their production.
    She has more than 25 years’experience in the advertising production consulting business, having previously introduced new ways of working at Unilever and Coors Bewing Co. She is an advocate for empowering women in the advertising production industry and often speaks at conferences on women in business and leadership roles.

  • Claire Beale Global editor in chief, Campaign

    Claire Beale is Global Editor in Chief of Campaign, overseeing the content for Campaign's eight international editions. She was editor of Campaign UK for over ten years, and is a regular commentator and writer on advertising, marketing and media on TV and in the press.

  • Kwan Yim SVP, Head of Global Agency Management, Citibank

    Kwan Yim is a SVP, Head of Global Agency Management at Citi, responsible for leading the agency relations globally across creative and media for the consumer business. He was previously Head of Global Media for the same company.
    Prior to joining Citi, he was Media Director at Luxottica Retail North America. He also has spent more than a decade working at media agencies.

  • Jori Bindels VP Corporate Communications, Marketing & Brand, Emirates

    Jori is VP Corporate Communications, Marketing & Brand for Emirates. Based in Dubai, he oversees brand communications, reputation management and performance marketing across Americas, Europe, Middle East and South Asia for the passenger airline, as well as destination marketing partnerships and cargo worldwide.

    He has worked at the airline since 2007, leading corporate communications across APAC as well as global e-commerce efforts prior to his current role.

    Jori is a strong believer in people-centric marketing and the power of connecting minds.

  • Alfonso Argudin Global CMO, Grupo Bimbo

    Alfonso is global CMO for Grupo Bimbo, having returned to the company in 2010 and worked in a range of sales and marketing roles. He took up his current position in 2016.
    He has also worked at ACNielsen, Nestlé Mexico and Colgate-Palmolive.

  • Jon Wilkins Chairman, Karmarama

    Jon is Executive Chairman of Karmarama, developing its integrated offer, increasing its capabilities in data and mobile and working with key clients to help them grow their business through strategy and creativity.

    He was one of the founders of Naked, where he pioneered the concept of media neutrality. During his 13 years with the agency, it grew into an international group with offices in cities such as New York, Melbourne, Sao Paolo, Paris, Singapore, Dubai and Tokyo.

  • Rahul Asthana Senior Director, Marketing, Kimberly Clark ANZ

    Rahul AsthanaSenior Director, Marketing, Kimberly Clark ANZ

      About Rahul

      Rahul is Sector Leader for the Baby and Childcare business of Kimberly Clark, ANZ, leading the company’s digital and ecommerce marketing, consumer insights and engagement teams.
      He joined the company in March 2013 working in the same sector but focused on ASEAN before expanding his remit to cover Asia-Pacific. He was named as one of Campaign Asia’s Media A List in 2016 and the “40 under 40” in 2017.

    • Nicole McMillan Vice President Marketing AMEA, Mars

      Nicole is VP, Portfolio & Marketing Acceleration, AMEA for Mars Wrigley Confectionary, her latest role in a career focused on FMCG.
      She has spent the last 10 years working for Mars in a variety of marketing positions across Asia Pacific and has a passion for developing local talent.

    • Julie Chan Global Consumer Engagement Lead, Pfizer

      Julie is Global Consumer Engagement Lead, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, responsible for developing advertising strategies that drive growth for global consumer brands such as Advil, Centrum, Caltrate, ChapStick and Nexium24HR.
      Prior to joining Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, she worked at Johnson & Johnson for 13 years, leading efforts on integrated communications, agency oversight and digital marketing across the company’s consumer, pharmaceutical and medical device businesses.

    • Atul Agrawal SVP Corporate Brand and Marketing, TATA

      Atul is Senior Vice President – Corporate Brand and Marketing, Tata Services, Mumbai, responsible for promotion of India’s most trusted corporate brand, the Tata brand, in India and selected international markets.

      Prior to joining Tata, he spend 19 years with Hindustan Lever in India, handling a diverse set of portfolios.

    • Lucinda Peniston-Baines Owner & Managing Partner, The Observatory

      Lucinda is a co-founder of The Observatory International which works with advertisers to transform their marketing resources. She has over 15 years’ experience in this area of agency management consultancy working across Resource & Roster Optimisation, Agency Search, Performance Management and Agency Compensation. She is current Vice President of the Management Consultancies’ Association and a regular lecturer for ISBA, the UK advertisers’ trade association.


    Whether it’s creating effective purpose-driven campaigns or demanding greater clarity in digital; whether it’s restructuring the way that internal and external teams work together or building a programme of media transformation that future proofs their business, great marketers can make a real difference.

    Selecting the world’s best marketer is not a simple process because everyone will have their own opinion about what represents great. To make that easier, we’ve identified some clear criteria for “great” marketing as well as a clear process for making the selection.


    This award is open to any client-side marketer in a senior global or regional position, who has worked for their company for a minimum of two years. Jury members should not be nominated.


    We believe that the best global and regional marketers are demonstrating outstanding leadership in three key areas in 2017. All nominations should demonstrate outstanding leadership in two or more of these areas:

    1. Evolving their organisation to be more people-centric, better able to respond to consumer needs and building happier, more engaged teams internally.
    2. Working smarter with partners, be they agencies or vendors, and ensuring that the whole team is aligned to the same goals.
    3. Delivering inspiring work that genuinely makes a difference, be that cultural, social or for the business.

    To know more about the judging process click here.

    Media Partner