Dare expands strategic capabilities

Dare has bolstered its strategic credentials with two new senior planners, both of whom are joining from above-the-line agencies.

Toby Horry, who won an IPA Effectiveness silver for his Nicorette paper this month, joins from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. He will work on Dare's Barclays account.

Rachel Lawlan, who received a silver at the same awards for her Kwik-Fit entry, joins from DDB London. She will be responsible for Unilever, among others.

Horry spent four years at AMV and was promoted to the board this year. Lawlan also spent four years at DDB. The pair will report to John Owen, the Dare planning partner.

Owen said: "To hire one of these guys would have been a real coup. Getting them both is just extraordinary. They have had fantastic schooling at two of the best agencies in town and will bring a fresh perspective to our agency. They are also hungry to learn from us."

He added: "Until my conversation with Toby, not a single premier league above-the-line planner had expressed an interest in joining Dare. That was two or three months ago. Since then, I've been approached by half-a- dozen. It does make you wonder if a trend is emerging."

Horry said: "I'm delighted to be joining Dare, which puts planning at the heart of what it does. As marketers put more budget into digital, they will expect the rigorous strategic thinking that goes with that. Today's genuine creativity and innovation is happening in the digital arena, and I want to be a planner that's working in the most creative media."