Nadja Bellan-White, the long-serving Ogilvy executive and industry diversity champion, has been appointed Vice Media’s first global chief marketing officer.
The veteran agency leader will report to chief executive Nancy Dubuc and start at the end of October. She will relocate from London to New York and is tasked with uniting Vice Media Group’s portfolio and teams across marketing, branding and communications under one pillar.
Vice currently has five business units around the world: digital content platform Vice.com, Vice News, production arm Vice Studios, TV network Vice TV and full-service creative agency Virtue. Bellan-White will be responsible for aligning the five divisions with the company’s worldwide brand.
Bellan-White said: “We have the opportunity to continue to build a brand that embodies the pillars of truth and culture – at a time when it is so important to our audience to tell those stories that reflect their lives.”
Vice styles itself as the world’s leading youth media brand and it is keen to maximise its cultural influence across global audiences, as well as develop more strategic and innovative brand campaigns and partnerships.
Vice’s portfolio includes Refinery29, the global media and entertainment company focused on women, which was the subject of an internal investigation over race discrimination during the summer. Christine Barberich, the site’s editor and co-founder, resigned in June after women of colour complained about a toxic company culture.
Bellan-White has more than two decades of experience, having joined Digitas in 1999, where she was vice-president of marketing during a six-year stint, before joining Ogilvy & Mather (now Ogilvy) in 2011.
Most recently, Bellan-White was executive partner and WPP team leader for Ogilvy and was also responsible for leading the brand transformation for Dove as global managing director on the Unilever account.
During her time at Ogilvy, she has led brand work for American Express, Coca-Cola, LG and Siemens, and served as chief executive of Ogilvy Africa, based in Nairobi, between 2014 and 2017.
Bellan-White is a well-known industry advocate for diversity and inclusion, having developed Ogilvy/WPP Roots, an organisation dedicated to driving cultural diversity and inclusion across Europe, and in 2017 received the Legend Award from AdColor, the US ad industry’s most prominent diversity-focused event. An American who attended the University of Virginia, she has spoken about how the 2017 neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville had a profound and personal effect on her.
“Quite simply, it doesn’t get better than Nadja,” Dubuc said. “Her work in transforming some of the biggest brands on the planet is industry-defining and her ability to find ways to uniquely connect content, audience and commerce globally in the marketplace is unparalleled.”