Marketing Hall of Legends inducts six

The annual gala welcomed Frank Buckley, Umbra's Paul Rowan and Les Mandelbaum and three more into its prestigious hall of fame.

The red carpets and cocktail dresses were out in full force Thursday night as the Marketing Hall of Legends honoured six Canadian marketing luminaries.

The event was held at the always swanky Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, starting with a packed cocktail reception and dinner, followed by a thoughtful and sometimes touching awards ceremony.

The Visionary inductees of the year were Frank Buckley, the Toronto-born businessman who redefined what it meant to market a decidedly yucky-tasting product; Paul Rowan and Les Mandelbaum of Umbra, whose home decor products created a category of their own; and bicycle magnate Louis Garneau, one of the most prominent personalities in Canadian cycling.

The Builder category welcomed David Bloom, former president and CEO of Shoppers Drug Mart. Bloom retired in 2001, but before he did, he carved out an 18-year career of turning SDM into a bona fide Canadian success story.

And in the Enabler category, Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin, co-chief creative officers at Ogilvy and Mather in Toronto, took the stage, honoured for their award-winning work in advertising. The honour was one in a long line of accolades for the duo, who can call two Cannes Grand Prixs and a Grand Clio their own as well.