Advertising Week Europe

Advertising Week Europe 2017 Official Guide

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The answer, according to Georgina Holt, publisher of Cosmopolitan magazine, is an emphatic "yes." In her view, it's more important than ever that Advertising Week and Cosmopolitan come together to cel- ebrate women in advertising. Delighting Advertising Week Europe attendees since 2013, Cosmo Honours is a yearly gala awards event that spotlights three women chosen as female icons of the advertising industry. While the names of the three honourees for 2017 remain a secret, the rationale behind the event is clear. A woman may be in 10 Downing Street, Frances Morris may be Director of the Tate Modern, but in advertising, just as in other fields, women still aren't equally represented in the top ranks. It's an issue that needs our attention now more than ever because, as Holt notes, the outcome of the presidential election in America suggests we haven't come as far as we hoped when it comes to respect for women. Even now, men continue to dominate the advertising industry. "All the honourees have been up against male environments," she says. "They've been the only woman in the room, the lone voice among fam- ily, friends and peers." Though none of the judges—who include Holt alongside Cosmopolitan Editor-in-Chief Farrah Storr and Duncan Chater, Chief Revenue Officer at Hearst UK—can say precisely what makes an "icon", they know one when they see one. Bravery and authentic- ity are often key qualities in honourees. And in Holt's view a sense of humour is also essential, "because they will need to look dark times in the eye and laugh." Cosmo awards have gone to women from agencies large and small, and have been spread among marketing directors, vice presidents and chief executives. Some have led British firms, such as 2013 hon- ouree Claudine Collins, Managing Director of Mediacom UK. Others have had more global roles, like Sarah Mansfield, Vice President, Global Media at Unilever—a 2016 icon who has made data and mobile buzzwords in the industry. Previous winners have belied the stereotype of a work-obsessed, money-driven "career woman". Most have families and social lives and interests that reach far beyond the workplace. Kate Robertson, a 2014 icon, stepped down the following year from her position at Havas Worldwide to focus on her nonprofit, One Young World Forum, inspired by Nelson Mandela and Sir Bob Geldof to work for a better world. Shining a spotlight on role models can benefit the next genera- tion, too. "There are a lot of women doing inspiring things, and the more we reward and talk about them, the faster we can ac- celerate the success of others," says Holt. "We love that previous winners come back to introduce their two chosen rising millennial stars, creating an opportunity to celebrate the media icons and role models of the future." One of the previous winners, Cilla Snowball, Group Chairman and 235

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