“Foresight, insight, and not being afraid to take risks. But that’s not pure marketing. Whether it’s an advertising agency or a business, the main objective is to build brand value and shares.”
Known as the “winningest” man in Canadian advertising, Frank Palmer is one of the ad community’s most respected leaders. From his humble beginnings in Vancouver over 40 years ago, Frank has created Canada’s most creatively acclaimed marketing communications agency, remade DDB into a powerhouse brand, and changed the face of Canadian advertising.
By surrounding himself with the most creative minds and brightest talent in the early 1990s, Frank transformed his small west coast agency, Palmer Jarvis Advertising, into Canada’s top creative advertising agency with a reputation for effective and humorous work.
The chief engineer of the merger between Palmer Jarvis and the DDB network in 1998, Frank saw in DDB Worldwide a global business partner who shared the same creative vision. By successfully creating Palmer Jarvis DDB, Frank soon built a thriving agency network with offices in Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto. Six years later, re-branded as DDB Canada, it still dominates the advertising industry awards circuit.
In 1999 Frank also became head of Queue Communications, the Canadian holding company for DDB Worldwide. In this role Frank oversees the development of DDB’s entire family of independent Canadian companies, which now includes DDB Canada, Downtown Partners and Anderson DDB Health & Lifestyle.
Frank was the recipient of this year’s Association of Canadian Advertisers Gold Medal Award, the industry’s most prestigious honour. The award was given to Frank in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the advancement of marketing communications in Canada.
“What has served me welI?… have always told the truth even though I knew it was going to hurt someone. It’s always about telling the truth.”
An exceptional leader in the business community, Frank is also a well-known philanthropist. In 2004, Frank created the Good Cause Award, a unique competition that provides a winning charity with a national public service (PSA) campaign worth over $2 million in donated creative development, production and media placement. The Canadian Mental Health Association is the inaugural winner of the Award, which is receiving international praise from advertising, media and the not-for-profit organizations.
Through DDB Canada, Frank has also donated marketing and advertising services for the United Way, the Duke of Edinburgh’s award, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Arthritis Society of Canada, the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Foundation, and St. Johns Ambulance.
Frank currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Young Canadians Challenge. He has also served as President and Board Member of B.C. Special Olympics, the National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS) of B.C., President of the Advertising Agency Association of B.C., the Kinsmen’s Club of Vancouver, Trans Canada Advertising Agency Network, and Board Member of the Institute of Canadian Advertising, St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation and B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Frank’s eye for creative advertising stemmed from his passion for art. A graduate of the Vancouver School of Art, Frank still enjoys painting in his free time. Although his own job requires extensive travel, Frank has always found the time for his two children, Darren and Kirsten, and his wife Marika.