Former RBS CMO David Wheldon awarded OBE

Boasting a career spanning 35 years in marketing, former RBS, Barclays and Vodafone marketing boss David Wheldon has been awarded an OBE for his services to the industry.

Former Royal Bank of Scotland CMO David Wheldon has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for services to advertising and marketing.

Wheldon retired in March 2020 after a 35-year career in marketing, spanning high profile roles both agency and brand side. He joined Saatchi & Saatchi in 1983, rising from account executive to group account director by 1988. In 1989, Wheldon became a managing partner at WCRS, before being appointed managing director of creative agency Lowe Howard Spink the same year, aged just 32.

By 1993 he had made the move brand side as vice-president and global director of advertising at Coca-Cola, before becoming president of BBDO Europe in 1997.

Two years later, Wheldon became CEO of CIA UK and chairman of Tempus Partners, leading the team that won the Vodafone account. When WPP acquired Tempus in 2002, Wheldon became CEO of Team Vodafone, which he describes as a reinvention of the full-service agency model to coordinate all the WPP companies working for Vodafone.

RBS CMO David Wheldon on retirement and what he has learned in 35 years in marketing

In 2004 Wheldon moved back brand side as global director of brand at Vodafone, a position he held for almost six years. After founding his own consultancy in 2010, Wheldon rejoined the corporate world in 2012 as head of brand, representation and citizenship at the Barclays Group.

By 2015 he was CMO at RBS, a role which saw Wheldon lead the turnaround of the brand following its near collapse in 2008 and steer the bank back into profitability. He made a conscious decision to focus on the consumer-facing brands, including NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank and Coutts, campaigning to ensure each had a distinctive point of view.

Wheldon stepped down in 2020 following the rebrand of RBS Banking Group to the NatWest Banking Group, the result of years of recovery work.

He is joined on the Honours List by Julius Wolff-Ingham, head of marketing and fundraising at The Salvation Army, who has been awarded an OBE for services to charitable fundraising.

Wolff-Ingham leads The Salvation Army’s fundraising and marketing department, as well as serving as a trustee of The Royal British Legion Poppy Factory, The Southbank Sinfonia Foundation and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.

Having spent more than 30 years in the UK charitable sector, Wolff-Ingham worked agency side for almost a decade prior, including at direct marketing agency Brann.

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