Hunter Madsen, Ph.D.
Senior Partner and Vice President for Digital Media & Marketing


Hunter oversees the Digital Media and Marketing practice of Open Insights and is one of the brand advertising most seasoned experts in on-line advertising and digital marketing. Dr. Madsen joined Canwest’s west coast publishing division in 2008 as Vice President for Digital Media to grow online audiences and revenues for The Vancouver Sun, The Province, and the Victoria Times Colonist, and both site traffic and advertising sales in the region have more than doubled since his arrival. More broadly, he contributes to the cross-company strategic team that is accelerating the extension of Canwest publishing into digital media.

Prior to joining Canwest, Madsen headed marketing for Yahoo! Canada for two years. He previously worked at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters, where he led product definition and go-to-market for a number of advanced digital advertising products to support Yahoo! worldwide. These included systems to analyze ad campaign performance, execute online promotions, and conduct complex behavioral ad-targeting. In 2007, Madsen’s strategic work for the company’s leadership prompted Yahoo! to rethink its corporate mission.

Originally a social scientist, Madsen received his doctorate from Harvard University and subsequently lectured there before beginning his marketing career with J. Walter Thompson, in New York. Soon a Senior Partner at Thompson, Madsen developed award-winning marketing programs for Unilever, Kodak, Ortho, Sunsweet, and other major brands through the Eighties and Nineties, including the path-breaking ‘People Do’ environmental campaign for Chevron-Texaco, and the long-running Candace Bergen campaign for Sprint Corporation. In the mid-1990s, Madsen won the first-ever Grand Prix in WPP’s international Atticus competition, for his contributions to ‘fresh thinking in brand communications.

In 1993, Madsen founded JWT Interactive Enterprise, Thompson`s primary digital marketing unit at the time. JWT/IE pioneered early and highly regarded programs online for diverse clients such as Sun Microsystems, PBS, and the California Board of Tourism. Madsen designed Sprint’s first consumer website and, on behalf of that company, placed some of the first-ever ad banners on the Web. Madsen subsequently led marketing for Wired and its online properties, including Wired News, Hotwired, and HotBot, during their heyday, and then drove product marketing for several startups that launched Web-based media platforms and marketing-automation technologies.

Profiled in The New York Times, Advertising Age, Marketing Magazine, and AdWeek, and sourced by the Financial Times of London, National Public Radio, and elsewhere, Madsen is a frequent speaker on marketing in new media. His writings have appeared in Wired Magazine, Management Today, and other publications. Madsen has advised for industry organizations such as America’s Internet Advertising Bureau and the Wireless Innovation Network of BC, and shares two U.S. patents for online business processes. He is considered a pioneer of Web marketing. Madsen lives in Vancouver.
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