Ad agency veteran Neal Davies has been tapped to become President and CEO of Effie Worldwide, the organization behind the Effie Awards which are based on advertising effectiveness.
Davies was one of three founding partners of the U.S. division of communications planning specialist Naked Communications in 2006, along with Paul Woolmington and MT Carney. The company, based in London was sold to Australia’s Enero Group two years later. Davies, who departed the agency last year, was the last of the three U.S. partners to leave the firm.
At Effie WW Davies Succeeds Mary Lee Keane who is retiring this summer after 20 years at the helm of the organization.
When Keane joined the organization in 1994, Effie was part of the New York American Marketing Association. Throughout her tenure, Effie evolved with the marketing communications landscape, diversifying its juries, boards and awards program to encompass all forms of marketing communications. In 2008, Effie Worldwide became an independent nonprofit organization with the mission of spotlighting marketing ideas that work and creating programs around the drivers of marketing effectiveness.
“Mary Lee has been the foundation stone upon which Effie Worldwide was built,” said Carl Johnson, the group’s board chairman and co-founder of Anomaly. “She is a very strong leader who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to champion effectiveness in communications across the globe, resulting in the creation of over 40 national Effie programs.”
Davies is the first person with an agency background to lead Effie Worldwide, according to the organization. Prior to Naked, he worked at McCann and TBWA as well as Kodak. He will serve as both the operational lead and the industry spokesperson for the group. He’ll oversee the Effie staff at its New York headquarters, as well as its 44 international partners and will report to the Board of Directors of Effie Worldwide.Johnson said that Davies’ background “will allow him to build on Mary Lee’s contributions to the Effies and grow and evolve the organization to the next level.”