Marketing guru, former diplomat Arnold Foote passes
Statesman and advertising pioneer Professor Arnold Foote died at his home in St Andrew yesterday at age 87.
Foote thrived in what is universally accepted as a highly competitive advertising industry; and for several decades, had every finger in Jamaica's advertising and marketing pie, learning the business inside out and spearheading some of the biggest local and overseas campaigns.
As founder and CEO of Advertising & Marketing (Jamaica) Ltd (AdMark) in 1964, Foote was the power behind what was to emerge as one of the leading agencies in Jamaica, cranking up the firm's creative engine and making innovation its signature.
Five years after founding AdMark, Foote was elected president of the Advertising Agencies Association of Jamaica, a post that he held on and off for more than a dozen years between 1969 and 2004, and which he used as a springboard for founding the Caribbean Association of Advertising Agencies in 1970.
His expertise in the field of communications also enabled him to play a pivotal role in the creation of the University of the West Indies-based Caribbean Institute of Mass Communication – now the Caribbean School of Media and Communication – in 1974.
There was much more to Foote outside of the world of media, however. With an aptitude for commerce among his abilities, he was selected to head Jamaica's first trade mission to the European Common Market (now the European Union) in 1991, and became the founding chairman of the Agri-Business Council of Jamaica in 1994.
Foote was the mastermind behind the International Trade Exposition held in Jamaica between 2003 and 2006, and served on diverse private sector committees and boards.
Foote entered the diplomatic sphere in 1995, when he assumed the post of honorary consul general to Turkey; he subsequently added to his dossier the deanship of the Consular Corps and the presidency of, first, the CARICOM Consular Association in 2005, and then, the following year, the World Federation of Consuls (FICAC).
He was the first Jamaican to head the FICAC, under whose umbrella he organised several social and educational programmes.
As a youth, Foote developed a keen interest in sports, and represented his high school, Jamaica College, in a variety of sports, including athletics, football, cricket, hockey, shooting and tennis.
He also served on the Jamaica College board between 1967 and 1972.
Foote was awarded the Order of Distinction (CD) in 1997, for his service to Jamaica and internationally in the fields of advertising, sports and diplomacy.
He was also awarded the Order of Jamaica in 2010.
“It's a wonderful feeling to know that after you have reached my age, that the country thought it important enough to honour me in such a manner, and it has really given me a feeling which is so hard to describe and such a wonderful recognition for the work that I try to do,” he said upon receiving the honour.
He was the recipient of many other local and global awards, and was formally recognised by the Consular Corps of a number of countries for the work he did as president of the FICAC, which also bestowed him with a Gold Star.
Foote is survived by his wife Patricia (née Mills) and has three children, Roma, Arnold Foote III, and Kimberly; and six grandchildren.