Abi Ellis resigns as Wunderman Thompson ECD after disciplinary probe

Top creative leaves following complaint via a WPP confidential helpline.

Wunderman: Ellis (second from right) with Hulbert, Haworth and strategy chief Richard Dunn
Wunderman: Ellis (second from right) with Hulbert, Haworth and strategy chief Richard Dunn

Abi Ellis, UK executive creative director at Wunderman Thompson, has resigned from the WPP agency after a disciplinary investigation.  

The disciplinary probe, first reported by Campaign in December, was triggered after a colleague made a complaint via WPP’s confidential Right to Speak helpline.

Ian Haworth, Wunderman Thompson's chief creative officer, took over Ellis’ role on a temporary basis after the launch of the investigation.

Ellis joined Wunderman (as it was previously known) in December 2017 from Cult and had previously worked at DigitasLBi (now Digitas). Hulbert hired Ellis as part of a new top team.

Wunderman has now become Wunderman Thompson, having officially merged with J Walter Thompson since 1 January. 

The two shops have begun the process of restructuring and merging teams, and are planning on formalising the new Wunderman Thompson structure by the end of January, Campaign understands.

This would include clarifying the roles of the two UK chief executives – Wunderman's Pip Hulbert and JWT's James Whitehead – and JWT London's executive creative director, Lucas Peon.

Wunderman's global chief executive, Mel Edwards, has become global chief executive of Wunderman Thompson, while JWT global chief executive Tamara Ingram has become chairman of the merged entity.

Wunderman Thompson declined to comment. 

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