The FMCG giant, which owns brands from Ben and Jerry’s to Persil and Dove, increased its advertising and promotional spend by €300m in 2010, amounting to a €700m increase over the past two years.
Polk said a third of the company's 2010 turnover came from products launched in the past two years.
He said: "Brands and innovation need the fuel to unlock them and that fuel is advertising and promotion. It’s critical."
Polk said that the way in which a brand is communicated is a "powerful device" which the company intends to "link inextricably" to the Unilever brand.
Polk said that Unilever is facing an exciting time for marketing. He said: "Money flows to ideas. [Advertising and promotion] is at the core of what we do and you should expect us to continue to invest in our brands."