Rupert Brendon timeline



Brendon starts his career on the account side at what is now Boase Massimi Pollitt in England.


Still in the U.K., while at McCann Erickson where he is an account exec, Brendon is expected to create a ‘fact book’ and marketing plan for each client, whether they ask for it or not. He calls this period ‘the heady days of full commission.’


Now in Canada, Brendon is hired by

Ed Roncarelli at Norman Craig & Kummel in Toronto. Roncarelli soon sends Brendon to NCK Puerto Rico to run the Colgate-Palmolive business, then to NCK London.


Brendon joins Leo Burnett in Toronto as a group account director, working on Pillsbury, Green Giant and All State Insurance, among others. During this time he manages four future client CEOs, plus Jim McKenzie, past president/CEO of Leo.


Brendon is hired as president/CEO of Benton & Bowles (later DMB&B). Its most important client is P&G. Larry Dare, who ran some of the CPG firm’s global regions, took Brendon under his wing, calling him ‘slow but trainable.’ Brendon credits Dare with teaching him about P&G’s brand metrics.


Brendon pounds the streets to get support for the National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS). Despite some resistance, he gains enough support to make it fly.


Brendon becomes chairman of the first Canadian Congress of Advertising, a three-day meeting of the minds. It is here that he introduces the idea of celebrating ‘effectiveness,’ leading to the Cassies, an award competition that focuses on results and which he calls one of his proudest achievements.


Brendon joins the ICA as president/CEO to provide members with more value and help agencies provide greater value to clients. Under him, the ICA develops new services, like the ‘ICA Surveys on Salaries and Operating Costs’ and free information, law and HR services. Brendon also starts an agency search database for marketers. Over the years, 80 searches worth $263 million have been conducted, without speculative work.


Along with publishing papers and contributing to a couple of books on topics such as payment by results, ROI, and the client brief, the ICA begins sponsoring the quarterly ‘ICA Survey of Marketing Budgets,’ which provides details about future ad spend.


After determining it would take $2.5 million to create a special curriculum in brand communication at Wilfrid Laurier University, Brendon starts fundraising for the Marketing Communications Education Trust. Its total commitment today is $1.65 million.


The first students from the new program in Brand Communication at Wilfrid Laurier University graduate on June 8. Brendon plans to step down from his role

in December.