Oct 23, 2014

Unilever's Keith Weed Appointed Global Chairman of Inaugural Positive Change Effie Award

Born from Davos: World Economic Forum and Effie Worldwide collaborate to honor brands that shift consumer behavior towards sustainability

NEW YORK (October 23, 2014) ‒ Unilever’s Chief Marketing and Communication Officer, Keith Weed has been appointed Global Chairman of the inaugural Positive Change Effie Award, which honors brands that shift consumer behavior towards sustainable choices.* The North American and European-based award is a collaboration between the World Economic Forum (the Forum) and Effie Worldwide.

The idea behind the Positive Change Effie Award emerged from the Engaging Tomorrow’s Consumer project at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos last year. Business leaders (including Weed) recognized the opportunity to help bridge the gap between the intentions and actions of consumers, by rewarding brands for making sustainability a greater priority in their marketing programs.  Effie Worldwide is known globally for championing the practice and practitioners of marketing effectiveness through the Effie Awards, the Effie Effectiveness Index and other initiatives.  

“In a world where people are waking up to the many challenges we face globally as a society, the role of brands in helping people to live more sustainably has never been more important. This award recognizes that we are on the edge of a truly transformational opportunity in inspiring brands to grow in the marketplace by finding innovative ways to bring about real and lasting positive social change,” said Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications officer of Unilever.  

As Global Chairman of the Positive Change Effie Award, Weed will lead the vision and the context for the selection of the marketing efforts that made the most impact in moving consumer behavior towards sustainability.  He will oversee the selection of Positive Change Effie Award jurors in North America and Europe, and preside over judging in London and New York in February and March 2015.  

“We are truly honored to have Keith set the foundation for the Positive Change Effie, which will certainly provide vital learning on how our industry can truly move the sustainability needle,” said Neal Davies, President and CEO of Effie Worldwide.  “Selecting the right examples of success for this inaugural award is crucial and Keith will set the bar of effectiveness.”

A 30-year veteran of Unilever, Weed is responsible for the marketing and communication functions, a role that also includes leading Unilever’s sustainable business development and establishing the Unilever brand as the trustmark for sustainable living.  For the past three years, Unilever has been ranked the most effective marketer in the world, according to the Effie Effectiveness Index.  Weed is also a member of Steering Group of the Forum’s Engaging Tomorrow’s Consumer Project.

“The Positive Change Effie Award was catalyzed by many of the World Economic Forum’s partner companies,” said Sarita Nayyar, Managing Director, World Economic Forum USA.  “We have collaborated with Effie Worldwide to bring the idea to life as we believe that through this award marketers will be motivated to incorporate sustainability strategies in their brand messaging.”

The call for entries for the inaugural Positive Change Effie Award opened in September, and the deadline period runs from December 4, 2014-January 12, 2015.  The award will follow the rigorous judging criteria created by Effie Worldwide, with multiple rounds of judging by industry experts.  Work that ran between September 1, 2012-October 31, 2014 in the US, Canada or Europe will qualify for entry.  For more information, visit www.effie.org.  Positive Change Effie Award winners will be announced in June 2015.

About Effie Worldwide
Effie Worldwide is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization championing the practice and practitioners of marketing effectiveness. Effie Worldwide spotlights marketing ideas that work and encourages thoughtful dialogue around the drivers of marketing effectiveness. The Effie network works with some of the top research and media organizations worldwide to bring its audience relevant insights into effective marketing strategy. The Effie Awards are known by advertisers and agencies globally as the pre‐eminent award in the industry, and recognize any and all forms of marketing communication that contribute to a brand's success. Since 1968, winning an Effie has become a global symbol of achievement. Today, Effie celebrates effectiveness worldwide with over 40 global, regional and national programs across Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East/North Africa and North America. Effie initiatives include the Effie Effectiveness Index, ranking the most effective companies and brands globally and the Effie Case Database. For more details, visit www.effie.org. Follow @effieawards on Twitter for updates on Effie information, programs and news.

About The World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).

*Sustainability in the context of the Positive Change Effie Award is as defined by the Brundtland Commission: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). Our common future. Oxford University Press, 1987, p. 43.

Rebecca Sullivan
for Effie Worldwide