The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has appointed advertising and marketing industry veteran David Wheldon as its new president. He takes over from Martin Riley, former CMO of Pernod Ricard.
Wheldon (left), who has worked in senior roles at Coca-Cola and Vodafone as well as for agencies including BBDO Europe and Lowe Howard-Spink, is currently managing director brand, reputation and citizenship at Barclays Bank (banks have a lot of managing directors).
Wheldon says: “The WFA plays a critical role in our industry in representing marketers’ interests, standing up for what’s best about marketing and helping marketers be more effective and efficient. The organization is experiencing impressive growth from corporates and local advertiser associations, proof in itself of the relevance of the organization and its work. I look forward to helping to shape and drive the WFA agenda at a time where our industry is going through unprecedented change.”
The WFA claims its members account for 90 per cent of global marketing spend. At the same time as appointing Wheldon for a two-year stint the WFA has elected representatives from AB InBev, Deutsche Telekom, Grupo Bimbo, LVMH, Mundipharma, Philips and Shell to its board.
Relations between the big global advertisers and agencies seem no better now than they have been historically, with the advertisers suspicious of media initiatives like programmatic buying and determined to drive down fees and pay their bills later. Agencies, who are hardly innocents in some of these matters, fulminate about the dead hand of procurement on fees, budgets and relationships as a whole.
Wheldon, a natural diplomat, has senior experience on both sides of the fence so just may be able to bring the two sides closer together.