MAKERS UK Breakthrough: Sam Phillips

MAKERS UK is proud to launch #MAKERSBreakthrough, an initiative to keep gender diversity at the top of the agenda and ignite change in advertising by showcasing stories of women in the industry that have broken through the glass ceiling. Committed to their dedication on the subject, MAKERS collaborated with Women in Advertising and Communications London (WACL) at their annual Gather conference to speak to some well known leaders. Together, MAKERS interviewed 10 WACL members who revealed their personal experiences, including their biggest challenges and any motivational advice they can offer to young aspirational women who are striving for success.

Get to Know Sam Phillips, CMO, Omnicom Media Group, UK + Managing Director, OMG Ethnic (UK)

Sam’s career started in account management at J Walter Thompson and then TBWA where she ran several pieces of business including Wonderbra in the days when Eva Herzigova was still stopping the traffic. Sam was then lured from agency-land to go client-side for nine years – first as Head of Marketing for ITV and then as Marketing Director at Time Inc. – before moving back agency-side in 2005. As CMO, Omnicom Media Group, UK Sam sits on the holding company’s Board and is responsible for the sales, marketing and design outputs of  the company’s five UK agencies (OMD UK, Manning Gottlieb OMD, M2M, PHD and Rocket) as well as its range of Specialist Service such as Annalect, Drum and Fuse. Sam is also founder and Managing Director of the award-winning OMG Ethnic – the UK’s leading media multicultural marketing consultancy, current UK co-Chair of Omniwomen, Omnicom’s global programme to drive the influence and seniority of women across all Omnicom agencies  and she also heads up Omnicom Media Group UK’s Diversity strategy. Sam is also proud to be Assistant Dean of Omnicom University, Omnicom’s global leadership training programme.

Sam is married to Richard and has three children – Max, who has Down’s Syndrome (13), Ted (12) and Tallulah (6). Tallulah was adopted from a Russian orphanage in 2011. Outside the home and work environments Sam is a big believer in putting back into the community and society. She is a Trustee of ‘Adopt A Better Way’ (a charity with a mission to simplify the current UK adoption system as every child deserves a loving family) and on the Board of RADA (which assuages her thespian tendencies and ensures that the best talent, irrespective of ability to pay, is able to join the world’s leading drama school). She is also a member of WACL (Women in Advertising and Communications London). In 2015, Sam was awarded the ‘Global Women’s Leadership Achievement Award’ in recognition of her commitment and contributions to society and industry.   

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