Edelman Australia today announced the appointment of Fern Canning as director of its Consumer practice, based in Sydney. Canning brings over twelve years of experience working in London, UK on global consumer marketing communications strategy and creative for some of the world’s largest FMCG brands including within the Procter & Gamble and Diageo portfolios. In her new role she reports to Matthew Gain, General Manager, Edelman Sydney, effective immediately.
“We are so pleased that Fern has joined us at Edelman Australia,” said Gain. “We are working with some of the leading brands in our Consumer division, and under Fern’s direction we will continue to expand, putting marketing strategy at the heart of our work and delivering outstanding results for our clients.”
As the Consumer practice lead, Canning’s responsibilities include harnessing the existing strong talent within the team, growing the division’s FMCG client base, ensuring that clients’ briefs are met with strategic and holistic marketing campaign responses, and including social media in PR programs from the outset.
Canning has experience planning holistic strategic and creative communications campaigns both regionally and globally, including social media strategy development for Pantene, reporting into the brand’s marketing directors. She has also directed global work for Lacoste Fragrances and skincare giant Olay. In 2012, she offered strategic support for P&G’s Olympic Games sponsorship.
Within the Diageo portfolio, Canning developed PR campaigns for Baileys, spearheading social, digital and PR campaigns while managing their global roll-out. She recently managed a collaboration between milliner Philip Treacy and high-profile jeweller Stephen Webster for the brand, which awarded her a Diageo Marketing Excellence accolade. Previous work with alcohol brands includes Laphroaig whisky, Budweiser and global PR agency leadership for SAB Miller’s Peroni Nastro Azzuro account. The latter saw her direct a global brand and event collaboration with Vogue Italia.
Canning has also spent several years working in the lifestyle automotive sector, heading numerous lifestyle car launches for Audi UK over a seven year period including the TT, A6 and R8, as well as the Le Mans 24 Hours motor sports events. Her work with the car giant included managing sponsorship of the England Polo Team and high profile events such as the Royal Ballet, The BAFTAs, Elle Style Awards, GQ Men of the Year Awards and the brand’s own influencer event The Audi Polo Challenge, which is held annually with the British Royal Palace. Her work with Audi also extended to its Audi Design Foundation CSR arm, working as project manager and PR manager. During this time, Canning directed national competitions with design universities which culminated in programmes for the favelas of Brazil and the townships of South Africa.
A published travel writer for AusTravel, in the earlier stages of her career Canning handled press office activity for KLM airways and launched Ocean Village cruises in Europe.