Andy Blackford, one of the leading creative exponents of integrated
advertising, is returning to the Grey group - seven months after
quitting to go freelance.
The former creative chief of the Grey-owned Joshua is joining the main
agency as a creative director of one of Grey’s five newly formed
’agencies within an agency’.
His arrival forms part of a plan by Steve Blamer, Grey’s chief
executive, to put integration at the heart of the agency’s thinking.
As well as taking creative command of Grey’s SmithKline Beecham, Allied
Dunbar and Mirror Group business, Blackford will work on integrated
campaigns being planned by the other four groups and on new-business
pitches that require an integrated input.
Blackford will replace Mike Everett, one-time creative partner of Grey’s
former creative director, Paul Smith, who is leaving the agency. ’I felt
that a change needed to be made,’ Blamer said.
Blackford’s 20-year agency career has been divided almost equally above
and below the line. An Oxford graduate, he has been group creative
director at IMP, the promotional marketing specialist, and Equator, the
Saatchi & Saatchi-owned direct marketing operation, as well as working
at Leo Burnett and Aspect.
He joined Grey Direct as creative director in May 1997 and stayed with
it when it was merged with Grey Integrated to form Joshua.
His arrival renews his professional association with Tim Mellors, Grey’s
executive creative director. The pair previously worked together within
the Publicis group.
Blamer said: ’Having seen Andy at Joshua and as a freelance for us I
know him to be a terrific creative who thinks differently.’
Blackford, who turned down the chance of a start-up for another major
agency in order to join Grey, said:’The integrated approach is hard to
achieve but Grey has gone about it the right way by building integration
from within rather than without.’