Former CSO of Publicis Communications North America will also Serve as Co-Chair of the Edelman Trust Institute
December 7, 2021 — NEW YORK — Edelman has named Brent Nelsen global chief Innovation and Strategy officer and co-chair of the Edelman Trust Institute, effective January 3. Nelsen will lead Edelman’s global strategic network and help lead the development and expansion of the recently launched Trust Institute. He will report to Christoph Becker, global chair of Integration, and be based in Toronto.
Nelsen’s joining follows the June hiring of Becker, who was brought on to drive integration across the firm’s full array of offerings including Creative, Data & Intelligence (DxI), Digital and Strategic Planning. As global head of Innovation and Strategy, Nelsen will now be responsible for accelerating the incorporation of trust science into Edelman’s strategic offering.
“Our journey to become the global communications partner of choice and our ambition to transform the communications industry requires a strategic global leader with the stature and experience of Brent,” said Becker. “Edelman solutions will connect through trust and inspire through action and Brent’s leadership will bring that to life for our clients.”
As co-chair of the Trust Institute, Nelsen will direct the evolution of Edelman’s suite of trust advisory and data service offerings to ensure trust can be activated among all stakeholders. Looking to build on its more than two decades of leadership measuring and reporting on institutional trust, Edelman debuted the Trust Institute back in June. Since then, the Institute has launched studies on brand trust, the return to work and climate change. It has also created the Edelman Trust Institute Summer Series, exclusive virtual events for clients, thought leaders and media experts.
“We believe that trust drives growth,” said Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman. “But it requires a process and a global approach to effectively integrate corporate reputation and brand. Brent’s background in strategy development makes him uniquely qualified to help clients develop and quickly scale that process.”
Nelsen joins Edelman from Publicis Communications, where he was most recently chief Strategy officer of North America. In that role he actively worked across all of the network’s creative agencies, served as an executive lead for Publicis Groupe Canada and worked on key clients like T-Mobile and the Canadian Tire Corporation.
He brings over 25 years of strategic planning experience across a number of global agency networks, including Leo Burnett, DDB Worldwide, McCann Worldgroup and Cossette Communication Marketing. An industry veteran, Nelsen has collaborated with many of the world’s leading brands such as Samsung, IKEA, American Airlines, Amazon, Levi’s, Kellogg’s and McDonalds. He has also worked on some of the industry’s most impactful campaigns including IKEA’s Cook This Page, Mr. Clean Cleaner of Your Dreams for P&G’s Mr. Clean and Raising The Roof’s Coming Soon.
Prior to Publicis Communications, Nelsen spent more than a decade at Leo Burnett, where he served as chief Strategy officer of Leo Burnett Canada. Nelsen’s work has been recognized globally by strategy and creative awards shows including the Grand Prix Lion for Creative Effectiveness at the Cannes Lions, Effie’s, D&ADs and the London International Advertising Awards.
“I’m thrilled to join Edelman and have the opportunity to help businesses think, speak and act in ways that not only create and build trust, but inspires highly creative, positive and palpable action that benefits all,” said Nelsen. “The creation of brand trust is essential to ensuring that a brand’s business strategy and its purpose are seen as believable and acceptable in the eyes of all stakeholders.”
Edelman has led strategy and planning on campaigns for brands like ASICS, Heineken, AXE and Playtex.
Over the past few years, Edelman has bolstered its creative and strategic planning offerings, hiring a diverse group of talent, including Becker, Judy John, its first global chief creative officer, and Yannis Kotziagkiaouridis, Edelman’s first chief Data & Analytics officer, along with scores of creatives and planners.
Nelsen has been invited to speak and participate as a judge at events such as Cannes, IPA’s, Effie’s, WARC and Effectiveness Week in London. Nelsen also served as the chair of the Miami Ad School in Canada and is a graduate of the University of Calgary.
With the arrival of Nelson, Lee Maicon will now take the role of head of Strategic Growth to reinforce our strategic offering with our global clients and sectors. He will report to Becker.