Global Marketer of the Year 2018

Global Marketer of the Year 2018

Global Marketer of the Year 2018

Celebrating global and regional marketers who have been truly making a difference

Raja Rajamannar, the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of Mastercard, is WFA's Global Marketer of 2018. She won following a combined vote from an expert jury, the industry at large through open voting, including readers of The Drum - WFA's Global Marketer of the Year media partner - and WFA members.

Read more in the press release.

WFA's Global Marketer of the Year 2018

Watch the interviews

Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, P&G

Ukonwa Ojo, Chief Marketing Officer, Coty Consumer Beauty

Syl Saller, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer, Diageo

Claudia Willvonseder, CMO/Global Marketing and Communication Manager, IKEA

Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Mastercard

Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever

The 2018 shortlist

  • Ukonwa Ojo, Coty Consumer Beauty Chief Marketing Officer

    Ukonwa has been nominated for her role in transforming Covergirl following its acquisition from P&G back in 2016.

    Not only did she totally revamp the whole brand vision for Covergirl in just 11 months but she also introduced “I am What I Make Up”, a powerful tagline which highlighs her vision of a brand that is strong on diversity and inclusion.

    She’s taken that to the next level with her influencer partnerships, which celebrate ethnic diversity but also women with a variety of vocations.

    Her success has seen her take on the CMO role for Coty’s Consumer Beauty in the US earlier this year in addition to the Global CMO function for Covergirl and Sally Hansen. She previously worked for Unilever, RB and General Mills.

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

    Marc sums up his belief that marketing can do positive things with the phrase "a force for good and a force for growth".
    With that in mind, he has supported purposeful brands and purposeful marketing as well as gender equality and diversity, leading the Association of National Advertisers’ #SeeHer movement and strongly supporting the expansion of AIMM, ANA's Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing.
    This is in addition to his very public demand last year that walled gardens (Facebook and Google) become more transparent by getting their measurement accredited by the MRC.
    He has worked for Procter & Gamble since 1982 and took up his current role in 2014, having previously been Global Brand Building Officer.

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

    Raja has transformed marketing at Mastercard and made it a critical business driver. A sign of its importance is that all high flyers in the company must now complete a rotation in marketing before they can gain their next promotion.
    At the heart of his success has been the iconic Priceless ad campaign, which has been transformed into a highly effective marketing platform.
    Start Something Priceless was launched in 40 countries in 2018, making a significant social impact as well as delivering strong business results, while Priceless Causes has driven breakthrough cures for cancer, with five drugs approved by the FDA and significant advances made in Ovarian cancer detection.
    Raja mentors other marketers, four of whom have gone on to become CMOs and regularly teaches at Harvard, Yale, NYU, Northwestern and SMU.
    He has previously worked at WellPoint, Humana, Citi, Diners Club North America and Unilever among others.

  • Syl Saller, Diageo Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer

    Syl has been nominated for her dual achievements in bringing greater innovation to Diageo’s marketing and her championing of gender and diversity.
    In the last five years she has created an innovation function that has delivered £1bn of net revenue through hard work, inspired team selection and relationship building.
    She has also put Diageo at the heart of the diversity agenda, not only joining the Unstereotype Alliance as a founding member but also spearheading Diageo’s support for Free the Bid, which calls for agencies to name at least one female director in their creative bids.
    As a result of her efforts, many of the Diageo brands including Guinness, Baileys are championing gender and diversity representation through their latest marketing campaigns.
    She has been in her current position since July 2013 having previously been Global Innovation Director and Marketing Director. She has also worked for Allied Domecq and Procter & Gamble.

  • Keith Weed, Unilever Chief Marketing & Communications Officer

    Keith has been a long-term champion for brands with purpose, helping to create a portfolio that successfully combines sustainable brands with business growth.
    This year he has focused on the digital advertising industry. He has championed moves to boost integrity in the influencer space, committing Unilever to not working with influencers who buy followers and prioritising partners who increase transparency.
    He has also sought to build a new relationship with agency partners, moving to a remuneration model based on outputs and outcomes related to common business goals.
    Outside of Unilever, Keith is the President of the Advertising Association and the architect behind the Unstereotype Alliance, co-created with UN Women. The FT named him one of the 50 HERoes – champion of female gender equality.
    He has worked for Unilever since 1983 and took up his current role in 2010.

  • Claudia Willvonseder, IKEA CMO/Global Marketing and Communication Manager

    Claudia has been a long-term supporter of social purpose, ensuring that it’s at the core of the way IKEA runs and the products it provides.
    Alongside her role in masterminding the digital and data-driven marketing transformation within the company, she also leads the development of a corporate and consumer communications platform focused on sustainability.
    Claudia and her team have launched a series of great marketing campaigns in the last few years, many of which are purpose- and sustainability-focused around the IKEA message of 'creating a better everyday life for the many people'. She is chairing the Effective Use of Brand Purpose category at the 2018 WARC Awards.
    She took up her current role in April 2014 having worked for Ikea in a variety of roles since 2006. Previously, she was Chief Creative Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi and Creative Director at Springer & Jacoby Hamburg.

Our Jury

Chaired by David Wheldon, WFA President and RBS CMO, the 2018 jury included a wide range of sector and regional expertise, making it perfectly equipped to identify those who are making the biggest impact on the increasingly global marketing business.

  • David Wheldon WFA President and Chief Marketing Officer, RBS
  • Stephan Loerke WFA Chief Executive Officer
  • Atul Agrawal Senior Vice President of Corporate Brand and Marketing, TATA Motors
  • Jori Bindels Vice President, Corporate Communications, Marketing & Brand, Emirates
  • Julie Chan Global Consumer Engagement Lead, Pfizer
  • Islam ElDessouky Head of Integrated Marketing Communications & Content Marketing, Coca-Cola Middle East
  • Eloísa Moscardó Head of Corporate Advertising and Content, Santander
  • Richard Benyon Chief Executive Officer, Decideware
  • Jennifer Faull Brands Editor, The Drum
  • Jillian Gibbs Jillian 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.

  • Charlotte McEleny Publisher, APAC, The Drum
  • Lucinda Peniston-Baines Lucinda Co-Founder & 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.


The WFA Global Marketer of the Year Award is meant to celebrate the role that regional and global marketers play in building brilliant businesses, setting the course of our industry and inspiring others.

The aim is to showcase global and regional marketers who have been truly making a difference in the last 12 months.

We want to acknowledge those who are using the power of marketing to deliver better business results; those who are using their influence to improve the way our industry operates; and those who are helping to create a climate where smart, sensitive marketing can be accepted and welcomed by consumers.

The WFA Global Marketer of the Year for 2017 was Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Unilever.

“The difference that great marketing leadership brings is clear in every market but it’s particularly vital at a regional and global level. Once again we want to celebrate this ability to provide a huge boost to their businesses, our industry and society. I’m delighted that the third Global Marketer of the Year award is now open so that we can find out more about the amazing work the very best in our industry are undertaking. It will be hugely inspiring,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO of WFA.


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

The WFA Global Marketer of the Year seeks to identify the person in a global or regional role from our network who has over the last 12 months made the most impact on their company, our industry and the reputation of marketing among consumers.


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.


Fee: There are no entry fees.

Nominations can be received in two ways:

Firstly, our expert jury of global marketers and industry experts – chaired by WFA President and RBS CMO David Wheldon – can nominate those they think deserve wider recognition.

Second, any member of the global marketing community can nominate an inspiring global or regional leader. They can do this simply by clicking on the 'Nominate now' button on this page.


We believe that the best global and regional marketers in 2018 demonstrate outstanding leadership in three key areas. All nominations should demonstrate outstanding leadership in two or more of these areas, with particular reference to their activities in the last 12 months.

  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.
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