The advertising industry remembers Ben Walker


Ben Walker.

The advertising industry has paid tribute to Ben Walker, the founder of Shopper who passed away this weekend at the age of 47.

The news of his death caused a strong flow of tributes industry, many admiring his personal qualities and vision that led to the creation of Shopper.

He has been described as wonderful, generous, kind, a champion of innovation and a top guy.

Here are some of the tributes:

Sarah Keith, Group Managing Director at Active International and Involved Media: “The absolute energy and drive that Ben brought to create Shopper is a fabulous legacy. I will always be an admirer of his relentlessly optimistic approach and concern for others.

Dan Johns, Managing Partner at Havas Media Group: “Incredibly sad news, what a kind and generous man. Always happy to help, always with a smile. Deepest sympathy to the Shopper family and team.”

John O’Neill, CEO, QMS: “What sad news. Wonderful proactive person. We worked together for several years. His concern for caring for people and always striving to be better will be one of his legacies.

Imogen Hewitt, CEO of Spark Foundry: “Just bad news. A generous, funny and kind man who will be missed by many. My heart is heavy for his family and friends.

Katie Rigg-Smith, CEO of Mindshare Australasia: “I haven’t been able to take in this news since I heard it over the weekend. Absolutely devastated.

“Ben was one of a kind and someone I’ve had the pleasure of working with for the past 22 years. Well you will be so missed by so many people. Thank you for always being a positive force in this industry, we are better because you were part of it.

“I am thinking of his family at this incredibly difficult time. I am also sending support to the Shopper team as I can only imagine how difficult it is.

Jane Ractliffe, Managing Director, Australia/NZ, Standard Media Index: “Devastating news. Ben was a true visionary and he gave everything to see his vision come to life.

“He was always thinking about how the industry could be improved and SMI’s decision to show that advertising spend was split between multinational and independent agencies was another of his brilliant ideas.

“He lived his life with such great joy and he will be missed terribly. My thoughts are with his family and the Shopper team at this very sad time.

Angela Smith, CEO and Founder of MediaSmiths: “Absolutely heartbroken by this news. My thoughts and love are with the Shopper team and Ben’s family.

“He was an amazing human being, bringing his business vision to life. I am blessed to have called him my friend as well. He will be greatly missed.

Nickie Scriven, CEO, Zenith Media Australia:m “Terribly sad news. My thoughts and condolences to Ben’s family and the Shopper team. Our industry was better off if you were in it. To never forget! TEAR”

Simon Rutherford, Partner and CEO of Slingshot Media: “There are no words. RIP Ben, you were one of the good guys. A champion of the industry, a champion of your people, a champion of innovation and creativity and above all a champion person.

“Fun, cheeky, you will be missed by us all. My condolences and thoughts are with Lisa, the boys and the Shopper team.

“You left way too soon. Your contribution has been immense and you can be very proud of all that you have accomplished.

Laura Nice, Co-CEO of OMD Australia: “Terrible news and so devastating for his family. A reminder of the fragility of life. Love and thoughts for Ben and his family.

Aimee Buchanan, CEO, GroupM ANZ: “Devastating news. I can’t stop thinking about him and the family he leaves behind.
“Ben was one of the first people I met in the industry. A great operator, but above all a great human. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the Shopper team. RIPBen.

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