Long-serving PHD Worldwide marketing chief to step down

Avril Canavan: replacement will be announced in November
Avril Canavan: replacement will be announced in November

Avril Canavan is leaving after leading marketing for more than a decade.

PHD Worldwide chief marketing and communications officer Avril Canavan is leaving after 11 years at the Omnicom-owned media agency.

Canavan is departing the network to spend more time with her family and to work on consulting and personal projects. Her replacement will be announced in November.

Canavan has led PHD’s marketing efforts through a period of growth and prominence for the media agency, which includes establishing itself as one of the most awarded media networks in recent years.

Philippa Brown, chief executive of PHD Worldwide, said: “Over the last decade, Avril has played a key role in defining the PHD brand in the market and driving a range of thought-leadership initiatives that have distinguished PHD as an agency that strives to be progressive and distinct.

“Avril has been an important part of the global leadership team for the last 10-plus years and we will miss her energy, creativity and commitment to making things happen.” 

Last week, PHD scooped five Media Week Awards in the UK, and was chosen as Cannes Lions Media Network of the Year 2020/21. 

Recently, Canavan led a global brand refresh.

“I have absolutely loved my time at PHD. Our culture and the quality of our people has made the last 10 years a fantastic journey,” she said. 

“My proudest achievement was establishing and leading our Light Awards programme, which focused on unearthing great work globally and celebrating the talent behind it. This foundation has contributed to PHD punching above its weight and being ranked in the top four most-awarded networks for the last five years.”  


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