The shortlist for this year’s award features marketing bosses from Coty, Diageo, Ikea, Mastercard, Procter & Gamble and Unilever. Votes are now open to the industry and ahead of the 25 January deadline Diageo's chief marketing and innovation officer, Syl Saller, spoke to the WFA about the challenges and accomplishments she's faced over the past 12 months.
Occupying Diageo's top marketing spot for close to six years, Saller has been nominated for the award for her dual achievements in bringing greater innovation to the company's marketing and her championing of gender diversity.
Saller has been an active force in encouraging brands and agencies to invest in female talent and has been outspoken in her drive to bring greater diversity to the marketing business.
"I would say really raising the game on diversity, inclusion and progressive gender portrayal will make an enormous difference, because without doing that, we are missing so many voices that can make a difference to our industry," she explained, "it’s a huge focus for me, it’s a huge focus for Diageo and I want to see it be a massive focus for our industry."
Earlier this month, Saller personally wrote to every one of the advertising and media agencies on Diageo's roster, asking to see statistics on gender diversity and pay gaps.
This year, Saller also spearheaded Diageo’s signing of ‘Free The Bid’, an initative which called on ad agencies to put forward at least one female director as part of any creative bid, and joined Women in Advertising & Communications London (WACL) in asking the industries it represents to invest in female talent and close the leadership gap.
Watch the full interview with Saller above. You can vote for her, or the other finalists for the WFA Marketer of the Year Award, here.