Industry News

Alaska Milk Executive to Chair Ad Foundation ARAW Values Awards

blen-fernando-678x1024It happens more frequent than the World Cup, and it has its group of avid fans.  It is the ARAW Values Awards, a biennial event held by the Ad Foundation.  On its 10th year, the Ad Foundation names Blen Fernando as Chairperson of the AVA Organizing Committee.  No stranger to one of the country’s prestigious awards, Fernando has been involved with the Ad Foundation since the late 1990s, and was a Trustee since 2005, concurrently chairing the foundation’s Industry Development Committee from 2013 to the present.

In capable hands, the awards will be with Fernando steering with the wisdom of experience, and sheer love of industry work.  Her presence in the marketing communications area is one full of achievements and merit, mostly for her work as Vice-president for Marketing of Alaska Milk Corporation, where Fernando is also a member of the Management team. Under Fernando’s marketing leadership, Alaska Milk Corporation was named the Marketing Company of the Year in 2013 for the 34th Agora Awards.

Her accolades include the 2012 Asia-Pacific Tambuli Award for Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of the Year, as well as the 2009 Agora Award for Outstanding Achievement in Marketing Management awarded by the Philippine Marketing Association (PMA).   Fernando is the Chairperson of the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA) Foundation this year.  She was PANA president from 2013 to 2015, reprising the same post of 2005 to 2007.

Passionately driving the importance of sports in youth development, the National Commission on the Role of Women and the National Sports Commission named Fernando  ‘Outstanding Women in Sports’  (Sports Marketing) in 2000.

The Ad Foundation’s Araw Values Awards is the only competition in the whole world that recognizes the importance of values in creative and marketing communications that advocate the 7 Cornerstone Values, namely, (1) Love of God and respect for all religious beliefs; (2) Commitment to truth, honesty and justice; (3) Love of country and respect for national customs and traditions; (4) Reverence for family unit or marriage or responsible parenthood; (5) Respect and care for human life and dignity and the rights of all; (6) Respect for law and authority and the promotion of self-discipline; and (7) Concern for and preservation of environment.

“The mission of putting importance on values formation is not impossible. It should be the mission of all companies and advertising practitioners, reflected in our brand campaigns, communication materials and programs. One of the Ad Foundation reasons for being is the promotion of 7 Filipino Cornerstone Values that are vital in nation-building and the development of our youth. These values help build the character of our people and our nation,” says Fernando.

The Ad Foundation is not without allies in this endeavor.  Corporations, agencies, the academe and media entities have staunchly lent the Foundation a hand.  Where the advertising and marketing industry’s reputation has always meant the survival of the fittest, and do at all costs, the Araw Values Awards perhaps offers that breathe of fresh air.  It may take time—two years’ long—to sift through campaigns for that diamond among the dust.  But, surely it is worth the time.

Says Fernando, “There are many award-giving bodies as well as many types of awards being given out. The Ad Foundation consistently puts integrity in the competition through over 10 seasons. Moreover, these awards are about the heart and soul of our society and not just profits”.

Fernando’s pursuits for the industry include the Advertising Standards Council (ASC) where she was one of its founders in 2008, and served as Chairperson in 2015 and TechCom Chair in 2008.  Prior to the ASC, she held several posts in the Advertising Board of the Philippines (AdBoard), especially in the Advertising Content Regulation Committee and as AdCongress ExeCom.

“Ten years down the road, I want to see the Ad Foundation stronger, bigger and and continuing to espouse the same 7 Cornerstone Values as today. The Ad Foundation must continue to live its mission, and for small and big companies, to walk the talk. Ethics in advertising will more and more become a competitive advantage.” shares Fernando.