The Agency Collective is an monthly series featuring a group of select advertising professionals who provide insights and knowledge on marketing trends and issues. In creating our first Collective group (additional collectives will launch in the coming months), we reached out to professionals who provide an unique perspective on the evolving advertising and marketing industry and how it is affecting agencies and brand relationships. Meet our Exec Collective members:
President and COO / Huge
Shirley Au is President and COO of Huge, a full-service digital agency, where she spearheads the company's global business operations. Based in Huge's London office, she is actively involved in defining and shaping the agency's core disciplines, including strategy, planning, user experience, client services and technology.
Shirley joined Huge in 2004 as an engagement manager and the agency’s sixth employee. Since then, she has played a critical role in directing the growth of the company. During this time, Huge has seen revenue and employee growth at rates of 50 to 100 percent year-over-year, for the last five years. She has also led some of Huge’s largest initiatives for clients including Kate Spade, JetBlue, Disney, About.com, FreshDirect, New York Philharmonic, Nutrisystem and the College Board. Prior to joining Huge, Shirley held marketing positions at AOL and New Line Cinema.
Shirley received a BA in Business Administration from Fordham University. She lives in London with her husband and newborn son.
Managing Director / NORTH
Currently Principal and Managing Director at NORTH, which creates effective brand engagement in the digital and natural worlds. NORTH is equal parts ad agency, creative collective and cultural university, rooted firmly in the independent culture of Portland, Oregon, under the leadership of industry veterans from Arnold Worldwide, Cole & Weber, Kirshenbaum Bond, Publicis and Wieden & Kennedy. NORTH's clients include Subaru of America, Clif Bar, Yakima Products, Pacific Natural Foods and Deschutes Brewery among others.
Formerly managing director of Cole + Weber Portland, and account manager at GGK London and The Brompton Group, London. Over a 25-year career, she has presided over fruitful collaborations with KEEN Footwear, Nike, Gold Toe, Dr Martens shoes, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Boeing among others.
Creative Director / Baldwin&
One of the most awarded copywriters and creative directors in the advertising business today, David Baldwin is the founder of Baldwin&, Raleigh, recently named Ad Age's 2012 Small Agency of the Year. The former Chairman of the One Club in NYC, David was also an executive producer for the film, Art & Copy, an associate producer for the film "The Loving Story," and a guitarist/songwriter for the band Pants whose CD, “Twice the Snake You Need” can be found on iTunes or Amazon.com.
David’s work and writings have been featured in numerous publications and college textbooks on advertising.
President & Co-Chief Creative Officer / kbs+
Ed Brojerdi is President and Co-Chief Creative Officer at Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners (kbs+). Ed is a life-long entrepreneur and avid technologist. He began his career at McCann Worldgroup, overseeing the global creative technology practice. Towards the end of his tenure at IPG, he was co-founder and COO of SPLIT, a creative technology business unit within IPG (Interpublic Group).
With almost 15 years of experience on blue-chip brands such as BMW, Microsoft, MasterCard, Verizon and Puma, among others, Ed brings a progressive, digital focus into the agency environment. During his career, he’s deployed numerous award winning creative campaigns as well as many consumer-facing technology applications.
James Denton Clark
Managing Director / Karmarama
James spent the first half of his career working in big network agencies before moving to smaller, independent shops. He's currently doing 'Good Works' with his clients as Managing Director of Karmarama in London. Karmarama is dedicated to doing the right thing; working hard, being nice, NEVER entering creative awards and playing ping pong. As a wise man once said of ping pong and business: "If in doubt, smash it."
Chief Creative Officer / The Distillery Project
John Condon is the Founder and CCO of The Distillery Project. The Distillery Project was recently named an Ad Age Small Agency of the Year. John began his career as a trainee copywriter at Leo Burnett — a somewhat larger agency, also in Chicago. He worked his way up to eventually become Chief Creative Officer. During his tenure as CCO, he led Burnett to higher standings in the creative rankings than ever before, while simultaneously winning more awards for advertising effectiveness than any other agency in America.
John’s work has been recognized by Cannes, the One Show, D&AD, the Clios, the Effies, the Andys, the Art Director’s Club of New York, the Obies, the Kellys, AICP, Communication Arts, his Mother and many others.
CEO / VML
Jon, VML CEO and President, has been with the agency for more than 16 years. During that time, VML has grown from 30 employees in Kansas City, Mo., to more than 1,200 around the globe. Previously, Jon served as VML President since 2007.
During his tenure, Jon has been one of the driving forces behind VML’s expanded digital and mobile capabilities, and he was an integral part of a leadership team that transformed the agency into a global digital powerhouse.
In his executive leadership role, Jon draws upon years of account experience working with VML client partners such as American Century Investments, Gatorade, Kellogg’s, Microsoft, Colgate-Palmolive, U.S. Bank, Ford, SAP, Southwest Airlines, Vanguard and others.
Jon is a member of the leadership board of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, a member of various WPP digital strategy groups and a board member of the Advertising Club of Kansas City Foundation. He was a finalist in the Ernst & Young 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year award program.
One of the company’s strongest advocates of the VML Foundation, Jon leads by example by volunteering in the communities where VML operates and contributing to a wide range of pro bono projects. Jon is an active member of the VML Foundation advisory committee.
Jon graduated from the University of Missouri in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism, and he supported the Missouri School of Journalism 2008 centennial program in several leadership capacities.
He spends his free time with his wife and their three daughters.
Strategy Director / Pereira & O'Dell
Justin has spent his career devoted to helping companies solve their business problems through the lens of the competitive and cultural landscape. His experience spans across traditional and digital advertising, brand management and product development. As a senior brand strategist at Pereira & O'Dell, he works with Skype, Corona and Intel to create connections between brands and consumers.
He has spoken at SXSW on the topic “Brand Consistency Is Killing Digital Advertising,” has been published in CMO Magazine for “Rethinking The Marketing Department,” and will receive an Effie award in May 2012 for Intel + Toshiba’s social film “The Inside Experience.”
Prior to joining Pereira & O'Dell, Justin spent time developing strategies for Levi's, Sony and Microsoft while at Razorfish, and he worked with brands like Altoids, Walmart, Beam Global Spirits, Hungry Man and 24HR Fitness at renowned advertising firm Publicis & Hal Riney.
Vice President, Strategy and Insights / Slingshot
Nicole, aka Wonder Woman, is an accomplished marketer with 13+ powerful years of brand strategy and marketing experience under her gold belt. Some of the brands she's worked her magic on include Samsung Mobile, Hyundai, Head and Shoulders, Cheerios, Dr Pepper, Borden and FASTSIGNS. Her insightful analysis and original thinking across multiple industries like B2B, technology, retail and consumer packaged goods have proven invaluable. Prior to joining Slingshot, Nicole served as the Director of Consumer Insights and Strategy at Haggar Clothing Co. where she led market research and business analysis efforts and provided the strategic direction for all brand advertising including TV, print, online and point of sale.
CEO / Allen & Gerritsen
Andrew Graff rises each morning before the sun, and always has one question on his mind: “What’s next?” As CEO of Allen & Gerritsen (a&g), a 27-year-old advertising agency with an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, Andrew constantly challenges his employees to deliver business through thoughtful brand strategy, unbridled creativity, high-impact media and connection technologies. By strategically combining creativity, technology and media with a top-notch corporate culture, Andrew has redefined the traditional agency model.
Under his leadership, a&g has seen unprecedented growth over the past 4 years. In both 2011 and 2012 a&g was ranked #1 by Advertising Age as “Best Place to Work in Marketing & Media” in the United States. In addition, a&g was also ranked as a “Best Place to Work” by both the Boston Business Journal and Boston Globe for two consecutive years. Andrew recently oversaw the next chapter in a&g’s history, as in August, 2012 the company moved into to Boston’s cultural hub for creativity and entrepreneurship, the “Innovation District.”
From an early age, Andrew’s entrepreneurial spirit drew him to advertising and made it his calling. Andrew completely immersed himself in every aspect of the advertising business, starting as an intern and working his way up through various firms. He often jokes that he is “the intern who never went away.” Across his career, Andrew’s clients have included some of the most well recognized brands in the US, including Gillette, Verizon, TJX Companies, Showtime Networks, Bright Horizons Family Solutions and the Boston Celtics, along with global BtoB companies such as State Street Corporation, IBM, Tyco Electronics, Bank of Iceland, and Waters Corporation.
In addition to his personal triumphs, Andrew remains dedicated to the economic growth of Massachusetts, representing the $1 billion marketing industry as Chairman of the Boston Ad Club. He also serves on the Boards of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) and the Boston Chamber of Commerce. Andrew's nonprofit causes include the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester and the Sports Museum. Passionate about fitness, Andrew may be the only CEO in America who moonlights as a spin instructor many mornings before work.
Andrew holds an undergraduate degree in business from the University of Maine as well as an MBA from Suffolk University. He currently resides in North Andover with his wife and teenage daughters.
Managing Director / Beattie McGuinness Bungay
Dan started his career in advertising as a Grad at TBWA/London, prior to which he’d considered journalism as a possible career, but didn’t fancy the grim reality of junior reporting. Subsequently he thought a more strategic and creative role might be suitable and so found himself in the semi-glamorous world of advertising.
At TBWA/London he worked on a range of accounts, including Adidas and the now globally infamous News of the World newspaper.
After a brief stint out of the industry setting up a boutique fashion label, he was one of the first through the door at fledgling start-up Beattie McGuinness Bungay in 2005.
Since then, he has gone on to oversee a broad range of accounts from McCain (the biggest chip brand in the UK) to TUI Travel (the biggest holiday company in the UK) through to IKEA (definitely the biggest Swedish flat pack furniture brand in the UK) – and has been involved in working on a number of other brands that are not the biggest in the UK, but no less important.
After being promoted to joint Head of Account Management in 2009, Dan is now Managing Director. He has a love of cricket, rugby and Stoke City Football Club. For those reading in the United States – appreciate you may not have heard of any of those 3 things.
Managing Director / Digitas Detroit
Robert is a 18-year agency and digital marketing account leader. Today, Robert heads the Detroit office for Digitas. For the last several years, Robert has led Fortune 100 client accounts in the financial services, cpg and automotive space. Prior to Digitas, Robert managed the digital marketing efforts for a luxury car brand while at Fallon in Minneapolis. Robert's previous roles include stays at Mullen and Modem Media and a five year running starting, growing and leading his own digital agency in Boston.
Robert lives with his wife and oversized Bernese Mountain Dog in Marblehead, MA.
Managing Director / Brothers and Sisters
Juliet joined Brothers and Sisters as Managing Director in 2009, and since then she has guided the agency's growth strategy, overseeing the Sky business and numerous successful pitches, including Bacardi, Join In UK, Cafedirect and Unilever.
She began her career at Barnardos, helping to develop their award winning campaigns, and from there she went on to TBWA and RKCR/Y&R, leading successful campaigns for the Labour party (2005 election) and Virgin Group, amongst others. Before joining B&S, she was Marketing Director of the Hospital Club, one of the business interests of Paul Allen, the Microsoft Founder.
President / TBWA\Chiat\Day\New York
Robert is an unashamed evangelist for the TBWA network and its clients, having first joining TBWA\LONDON in 2002, leading the multi award-winning Nissan and PlayStation business. He followed this with three years leading TBWA\Manchester, which went on to win agency of the year four times.
After Manchester, Robert joined TBWA\Chiat\Day\Los Angeles as the Global MD for INFINITI. He returned to TBWA\UK as the President in 2009, reorganizing and restructuring the agencies into a stronger force and launching BEING and Integer UK.
During his tenure, the agency won global accounts including Aquafresh, EA Games, Four Seasons and Pernod Ricard Premium Wines and TBWA\London was the second European agency in the Pencil rankings 2011.
Drawn to disruptive thinkers, excited by progression and full of energy, he has found a natural new home in New York. His responsibilities as President include TBWA Chiat Day New York, TBWA\ Engage, BEING NY.
President / GlobalHue
Detavio Samuels is an accomplished marketer with experience on both the client and agency side of the business. He spends his time dedicated to one purpose, unlocking human and brand potential through the power of ideas.
In his current capacity, Samuels is responsible for the overall management, strategic vision and growth of the accounts within the Detroit office covering automotive, lending, insurance, sports, public sector and retail. Samuels has received the following accolades for his professional achievements: Black Enterprises' Top Executives In Marketing and Advertising (2011), Power 30 Under 30 (2011) and Michigan Chronicles' Men of Excellence (2012).
In the digital space he is establishing a presence that continues to be recognized. In 2009 his blog was selected as one of the 100 Best Blogs for MBA Students, and he was named one of the Top 30 under 30 Tweeters.
Prior to joining GlobalHue, Samuels was at Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, working in Global Marketing. While at Ethicon, one of Johnson & Johnson’s largest medical device companies, he worked on the largest brand in one of their fastest growing divisions and was responsible for taking teams to countries like Columbia, Spain and Brazil in order to train surgeons on their products. Before Johnson & Johnson, Samuels attended Stanford University, where he received his master’s degrees in Business Administration and Education. Prior to Stanford, he worked in Account Management at the Fuqua School of Business – Duke University. Samuels completed his undergraduate work at Duke University.
Detavio describes himself as a: follower of Christ, loving husband, servant leader, and idea generator.
Managing Director / AKQA
As Managing Director at AKQA, Erik oversees the day-to-day operations of the Washington DC and Atlanta offices.
With AKQA since 2000, Erik has also served as Creative Director, Client Services Director and Business Development Director at AKQA, winning, growing and managing client relationships with Delta Air Lines, the US Postal Service, Verizon, the NHL, Volkswagen and dozens of others. With AKQA Atlanta opening in the Fall of 2012, Erik is focused on hiring and establishing new client engagements to support the new office.
Executive Vice President / Draftfcb
Steve Schildwachter is Executive Vice President at Draftfcb Worldwide. He sees three important responsibilities as an agency leader: Create business-building ideas for clients; bring those ideas to the channels that will best drive the client's business; hire and train people willing to learn everything about the client's business and the client's consumer.
His background includes a wide range of industries, from CPG to QSR to Financial Services, and disciplines including media planning, digital, shopper marketing, promotion and experiential. He also has extensive international experience.
Chief Creative Officer / Walrus
Deacon is Chief Creative Officer of Walrus, a multi-disciplinary, award-winning creative advertising agency he co-founded in 2005. Prior to Walrus he was the Chief Creative Officer of Mad Dogs & Englishmen, the same agency at which he began his career as a junior copywriter in 1995. Walrus is probably the best ad agency in the world.