Staff Reporters
Jun 17, 2021

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: David Porter, Unilever

Responsible for the consumer goods giant’s fast-growing markets across Asia-Pacific and also regional head of the World Federation of Advertisers, Porter wields enormous influence.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: David Porter, Unilever
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

David Porter

VP global media, APAC and Africa
Member since: 2018

As someone who wields enormous influence over agencies, media owners and the marketing industry on behalf of Unilever and its multitude of brands, David Porter returns to our list for the third straight year.

Responsible for media decisions in the consumer goods giant’s fast-growing markets across Asia-Pacific and Africa, Porter’s remit is far too large for him to take personal credit for many of Unilever’s individual successes.

But as Asia, and notably South Asia, has continued to step up as Unilever’s key global growth engine throughout the pandemic, Porter tips his hat to the in-market teams he facilitates, who collectively keep people safe, keep supply chains operational and move marketing funding to the places with highest impact.

Such efforts have not only fueled strong business performance this year, but made a difference in communities too. One of the more notable activities was for Lifebuoy, where Porter and his teams worked with major digital platforms and the company’s agencies to create native public information films to promote proper handwashing through the pandemic.

As marketing shifted online en masse, Unilever’s digital hubs in Australia and across Southeast Asia, which Porter co-designed, really came into their own as developed data-driven marketing teams. He was also part of the team that transformed Unilever’s digital and media operations in mainland China, selecting a new agency and creating new operating structures.

Meanwhile, Porter continues to be one of Asia-Pacific’s most outspoken advocates of media accountability and brand safety through his work as APAC VP of the World Federation of Advertisers. A major focus there is advancing the work of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media.

Having spent 25 years in media agencies in the UK before coming to Asia in 2004, and then six years with GroupM/Mindshare prior to joining Unilever in 2010, Porter knows the value of industry recognition and works to set higher standards for media campaigns.

A regular contributor at marketing industry events, Porter not only serves as APAC chair of the Mobile Marketing Association but also chairs awards programmes like the APAC Effies and Smarties.

Throughout his work for the WFA, industry award bodies and Unilever, Porter advocates for greater diversity and inclusion. He participates in Unilever’s Unstereotype 2.0 to extend DEI efforts beyond its workforce and communications to wider parts of the supply chain, while also supporting Unilever’s driving force behind Unstereotype Alliance alongside other WFA members.

Porter can be found on Twitter at: @davidporterblah.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

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