40 Under 40 2018 | Smita Reddy

Smita Reddy has built a relationship with her client Unilever on a shared passion for understanding consumer and cultural insights and crafting brand strategies that improve people’s lives.

As global client relationship manager on one of Edelman’s largest and most breakthrough clients, Reddy leads a team of more than 250 professionals to advance Unilever’s new approach to delivering growth through serving society and the planet.

Reddy joined Edelman in 2009, and she and her team developed some of the most admired, purpose-driven campaigns at the agency, including Dove Real Beauty Productions, The Vaseline Healing Project, and the Axe Find Your Magic initiatives.

Before taking on her current role, she oversaw the Unilever business in the U.S. Under her leadership, it expanded into digital, the food sector, talent and influencer management, including AOR remits for Tresemmé, Vaseline, Suave, Unilever Food Solutions, ApotheCare Essentials, and Love Beauty and Planet.

Reddy’s foresight and perseverance in cultivating dedicated Unilever creative teams for Edelman is a tremendous feat. In just under one year, due to Reddy’s leadership, grit, and vision, multiple Unilever brands now consider Edelman their creative partner.

Kathy O’Brien, VP and GM, skin marketing for Unilever, says Reddy’s "ability to focus on the problem at hand while constantly drawing from the outside" makes her "feel like she’s working for me and understands what is best for the brand, company, and members of the team — more than any other agency relationship."

- Reddy orchestrated an outside-in panel at Edelman with author of Feminist Fight Club and the first gender reporter for The New York Times, Jessica Bennett.

- She began her career as an account executive at Hill & Knowlton and then worked at M Booth.

- She spearheaded communications and consumer engagement around new product launches and integrated promotions for American Express, HP, Kipling, and Double Cross Vodka.

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