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World Creative Rankings 2024: VML’s Debbi Vandeven tops CCO league table


By The Drum Team, Editorial

March 6, 2024 | 5 min read

We can now share the most-awarded chief creative officers in the industry as we continue to reveal the 2024 edition of The Drum’s World Creative Rankings.

Debbi Vandeven

Debbi Vandeven, global chief creative officer at VML, won the most trophies and gongs in 2023

Already, as part of the World Creative Rankings 2024, we have revealed the most-awarded agencies in the world as well as the world’s top advertisers. Today, we’re taking a look at the people responsible for winning all those awards, starting with the chief creative officers.

The rankings show that Debbi Vandeven, global chief creative officer at VML, won the most trophies and gongs in 2023. VML was named Network of the Year at The Drum Awards 2023, with 14 pieces of work winning and six being highly commended.

Vandeven, who climbs into 1st place from last year’s 4th finish, is credited on campaigns including ‘Oreocode’ for Mondelez (the 12th most-awarded campaign in the world last year), ‘Dogs Without Borders’ for SFBO (32nd most-awarded) and ‘I Will Always Be Me’ for Dell (58th), plus four others in the top 200.

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On the importance of awards, she tells The Drum: “If you win for big clients, you get more big clients. In our RFPs and in new business, you are asked about your rankings; that’s how important it is. And then, on top of that, that’s how you get good talent. If you’re an award-winning shop, more creatives want to work for you. Across the board, it is extremely important.”

Liz Taylor, who was last year’s most-awarded CCO, finishes in 2nd this year, her agency, Ogilvy, having the 9th most-awarded campaign in the world (‘The Cost of Beauty’ for Unilever), the 29th (‘Morning After Island’ for Grupo Estrategico), plus two more in the top 200.

David Miami’s Pancho Cassis climbs to 3rd place this year from last year’s 6th and McCann Worldgroup’s Adrian Botan jumps from 11th to 4th. Perhaps the most impressive run up the rankings comes from Ari Weiss, the former global chief creative at DDB Worldwide, who went from 84th last year to 5th this year, the agency’s ‘Apologize The Rainbow’ for Skittles having been named the most-awarded campaign in the world last year and its ‘Chillboards’ for Molson Coors the 6th most-awarded.

The World Creative Rankings are compiled by exhaustively analyzing the performance of thousands of pieces of creative work across 22 major industry awards programs throughout the previous calendar year.

That data is then used to determine the people rankings – the CCOs, ECDs, creative directors, art directors and copywriters responsible for the most creatively awarded work in 2023. Their companies are then ranked, with these rankings including the best agencies, networks and holding companies, which are then split by country and region. The advertisers who fund the world’s most awarded work are also ranked, while the sectors that offer the richest return in creative gongs, whether that be Food & Drink, Automotive, Retail or Charity, are also evaluated.

Head over to our dedicated World Creative Rankings hub to see the full list of the most-awarded chief creative officers in the world, plus all of our other tables and breakdowns, as well as full details of the methodology that goes into the production of the rankings.

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