One-word answers with VMLY&R's Debbi Vandeven

The fierce creative leader shares her client deal breaker and advice for young people.

If you don’t know Debbi Vandeven, you should. She’s a creative powerhouse and one of the top leaders at VMLY&R, overseeing more than 2,000 creatives across the global network.

Vandeven, who has been with VML for 19 years, has worked on many award-winning campaigns with clients such as Absolut, Ford, Gatorade, Kellogg, Mastercard, New Balance, PepsiCo, Sprint, Wendy’s and more.

See what VMLY&R’s creative badass has to say about fighting creative demons and the agency of the future below.


What is the most important aspect of creativity? Freedom.

How do you fight your creative demons? CBD.

What do marketers need to do to break through the clutter? Bravery.

Tell us your client deal breaker. Disrespect.

What quality do you look for first in new creative talent? Passion.

Give a word of advice for young people entering the ad industry. Curiosity.

What social platform can you not live without? Instagram.

Take out your crystal ball. What will the creative agency of the future look like? Ours.

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