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‘Perfect cultural fit’ Valerie Madon joins VMLY&R as CCO for Asia

Former Havas South East Asia creative chief Valerie Madon has joined VMLY&R as chief creative officer for Asia. Madon will be based in Singapore and report to VMLY&R Asia co-CEO Tripti Lochan as well as VMLY&R global chief creative officer Debbi Vandeven. 

Madon will also be a part of the creative council of the agency headed by Vandeven.

A release from VMLY&R said: “Valerie, at the helm of the creative team in Asia, will be responsible for enhancing and developing further creative capabilities across the agency’s Asia network in line with its positioning of creating connected brands that drive value for clients and impact the world by harnessing creativity, technology, and culture.”

Madon started her professional career in web designing before landing her first agency job at Leo Burnett. She has also worked for Facebook as head of creative shop, at JWT as chief creative officer of Singapore and as global ECD on Shell Lubricants and Publicis Modem.

She moved to Havas from Facebook in June 2017, joining as chief creative officer for South East Asia and Asia-Pacific creative lead for the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) business. She was promoted to agency chair in July 2018. She left the agency in late July this year around the time of the brownface scandal relating to an ad for E-Pay, which had been created by Havas during the time she was CCO.

Among her career accolades are becoming the first female chairperson in the history of the Creative Circle Awards Singapore, and being awarded as Singapore’s first digital creative director of the year award at the 2011 Advertising Hall of Fame – retaining the same title in 2012.

In an article for Mumbrella, Madon spoke of her early love for painting – an interest that she continues to pursue. She is also a gelato chef who runs Singapore-based ice cream parlour Licktionary with her husband, the Wunderman Thompson Singapore chief creative officer Farrokh Madon.

 

Speaking about her appointment VMLY&R Asia co-CEO Tripti Lochan said: “Valerie is the kind of inspiring leader that defines agencies of the future. She is a perfect fit culturally – collaborative, humble, talented, a role model for young creatives who we need to fall in love with the industry. 

“Her deep digital experience knowledge within the overarching brand umbrella is the perfect spot where VMLY&R operates. She is a perfect fit for us and I am very excited about having her at the helm of our creative offering in Asia.”

VMLY&R chief creative officer Vandeven said: “I’m thrilled to welcome Valerie to our global creative leadership team.

“She truly has so much to offer VMLY&R — a reputation for creative excellence, extensive digital experience, and the proven ability to build world-class teams. I’m confident she will be an exceptional CCO in one of our most exciting and rapidly growing markets.

Commenting on her appointment, Madon said: “Truly creative work is the only reason I came back to the agency-world and I’m extremely inspired by VMLY&R, which embodies the way that agencies of today need to think.

“While many agencies may be known for creativity, very few are pushing the envelope when it comes to embracing media to deliver creative experiences – rather than just communications, and few are truly ready for what’s needed today and in the future. Having digital-at-the-core is not just a catchphrase at VMLY&R. It is its foundation.

“Hence it is my privilege to get the opportunity to work some magic alongside digital experts like Yi-Chung Tay, Keith Timimi and of course Tripti – a leader I highly respect and trust.”

Earlier this year, VMLY&R went through an extensive post-merger restructuring exercise with expanded mandates and roles for several key agency staffers. It also saw the agency sharply focusing on six key practices.

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