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by Eva-Maria Schmidt | Thursday, 27 June 2024

Strategic foresight, visionary thinking, technical expertise and a consistent attitude: their skills make the Men of the Year successful in Germany and beyond. All three HORIZONT Award winners are not afraid to be uncomfortable when it comes to successfully driving forward their idea of building or restructuring a company or a brand. Having an attitude, following a purpose, is not easy; it requires courage and perseverance. This quality, coupled with technical skills, convinced the HORIZONT Award jurors to select the three Men of the Year: Ulrich Klenke, Chief Brand Officer at Deutsche Telekom, is Marketing Man of the Year. Florian Adamski, Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Media Group, is Agency Man of the Year. Matthias Dang, Chief Commercial, Technology & Data Officer at RTL Deutschland, is Media Man of the Year.

Marketing Man of the Year

As head of branding at Deutsche Telekom, Ulrich Klenke has developed the telecommunications company into one of the most valuable German brands. Telekom regularly receives top marks in international brand value rankings. In addition, Klenke has charged the brand with a strong purpose: the campaign platform #GegenHassImNetz successfully campaigns for social cohesion. The campaign shows Klenke’s ability to take up important social issues and combine them with Telekom’s brand message. He determines Deutsche Telekom’s brand image across all national companies. In doing so, he manages to create a consistent image of the Bonn-based company worldwide. Klenke’s work reflects modern and responsible brand management, which is considered a benchmark in the communications industry, the jury said in justifying its choice of Klenke as Marketing Man of the Year. And the jury of the world’s most important creative competition, the Cannes Lions, also paid tribute to the brand’s communicative presence just last week, in the form of a golden lion for “Without Consent – A Message from Ella.”

Agency Man of the Year

There are only a few agency managers from Germany who have ever made the leap to the top of an international agency network – and there is only one manager at the top of a media network who has ever received the award in the more than 40-year history of the HORIZONT Award: Florian Adamski . But the aforementioned jump was only a stopover for the Agency Man of the Year. He is now the global Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the media division of the US advertising holding company Omnicom and is responsible for all of the group’s media activities, which include agencies such as OMD, PHD, Annalect and Hearts & Science. As head of this economically enormously important pillar, Adamski is now part of Omnicom’s inner circle of management.

Adamski is also an important contact for the group’s customers. Global brands from Germany such as Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen rely on working with him and the teams he puts together. Adamski is considered a modern and approachable manager who has made a name for himself in the media industry beyond the boundaries of his own company.

Media Man of the Year

Matthias Dang has shaped the success story and corporate culture of RTL Deutschland for more than three decades – at the time he did not want to believe that he would one day be the boss, as former IP boss Jean-Pierre Wilwerding predicted in 1998. He was an early pioneer in setting up strategic partnerships for advertising marketing, technology and streaming, both in Germany and internationally, and thus drove forward the digital transformation of the TV business. The Ad Alliance that Dang built up is now the largest cross-media marketer in Germany. With passion and a lot of heart and soul, Dang has also been trying for years to offer the advertising market real alternatives to the US platforms. One example is the multimedia app RTL+, which was launched in summer 2023 and combines all of the RTL Group’s media. Through such visions, trust in its own strengths and constant belief in the power of TV, Dang has succeeded in transforming RTL into a company that is well positioned for the future despite all the losses in the traditional business, the jury judged.