The role unites marketing, branding and communications under a single executive for the first time. Bellan-White, whose tenure at Ogilvy culminated in her recent work on Unilever’s Dove brand, will start work at the end of October, based in Vice’s Brooklyn headquarters and reporting to CEO Nancy Dubuc.
“Quite simply, it doesn’t get better than Nadja. Her work in transforming some of the biggest brands on the planet is industry-defining and her ability to find ways to uniquely connect content, audience and commerce globally in the marketplace is unparalleled,” Dubuc said in a press release. “This year has put the role of the media and its function in our society into sharp focus and I am thrilled to have Nadja onboard as we continue to tell our story and build Vice’s vision and mission for the future.”
Vice, whose stakeholders include several major media companies, has been in cost-cutting mode amid headwinds in the digital advertising market even before COVID-19 and the economic downturn of 2020. Over the past year-plus, it has implemented multiple rounds of layoffs. It has also rebranded its ratings-challenged cable network Viceland to Vice and pushed forward its award-winning news programming on the network as well as on Vice programming on Hulu and Showtime. A longtime relationship with HBO came to an end in 2019.
Vice is “one of the most unique brands in media,” Bellan-White said. “We have the opportunity to continue to build a brand that embodies the pillars of truth and culture – at a time when it is so important to our audience to tell those stories that reflect their lives. I am excited to partner with Nancy and the entire VMG team to continue on this journey to redefine the media industry model.”
Bellan-White ended her run at Ogilvy as executive partner. Her client roster there included American Express, LG Electronics, IKEA North America, Coca-Cola, Siemens, and Safaricom/Vodafone. In 2014, she was named CEO of Ogilvy Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.
Along with the CMO news, Vice also said it has promoted Meera Pattni to VP of Communications. A former journalist, she joined the company in 2014, working in communications across the company’s corporate, news, digital and television divisions around the world.