Droga5 appoints Shelley Smoler as ECD

Smoler promoted from group creative director to lead department under David Kolbusz.

Smoler: work on Amazon has been nominated for an Emmy
Smoler: work on Amazon has been nominated for an Emmy

Droga5 London has promoted Shelley Smoler to executive creative director. 

Smoler, who was previously group creative director, will report to chief creative officer David Kolbusz. She will be responsible for leading the creative department, overseeing pitches, developing the agency’s mentorship and diversity programmes, and working across clients, with a focus on Amazon. 

She joined Droga5 in 2017 and was promoted to group creative director the following year. In that time, she has led the global Amazon Alexa business, Amazon Prime in the US and Amazon Prime Video in Europe and the UK.

Smoler was part of the team who created Uniqlo’s 2018 work “Metatronia”, a performance piece in collaboration with Solange Knowles that was displayed at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. 

This week, Smoler’s work on Droga5’s first Super Bowl commercial for Amazon, “Before Alexa”, was nominated for an Emmy Award.

Before Droga5, Smoler was a creative director at Bartle Bogle Hegarty London, working on brands including Audi, Google, Heineken, KFC, Mentos and The Guardian.  

Earlier in her career, she was creative group head at South African agency TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris\Johannesburg. While there, she created a campaign for The Zimbabwean newspaper that took on Zimbabwean prime minister Robert Mugabe's regime by turning the country's bank notes into protest messages on billboards. The posters won more than 50 awards, including a D&AD black Pencil, a Cannes Grand Prix and two Grand Clios, and are part of the permanent collections at the British Museum and Design Museum. 

Smoler said: “I am lucky enough to be working alongside the nicest, most talented and creatively ambitious group of people on the planet. I’m looking forward to continuing to help grow and shape the creative department and be inspired by them in equal measure.”

Kolbusz added: “To describe Shelley as ‘essential as food or drink’ would undervalue her contribution and undersell how joyful an experience it is to work with her. She is brilliant, strategic, methodical, thorough, kind and, perhaps most essentially, she has impeccable taste. The agency will be stronger for her leadership.”

Droga5 London’s previous ECD, Steve Howell, moved to Dark Horses as creative partner in 2018, while former joint ECD Rick Dodds departed earlier that year. 

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