Happydog hires top agency names in a move to ad services

The business consultancy happydog, which counts companies including Xbox, Tesco, Diageo and Unilever among its clients, has made a clutch of senior hirings from advertising agencies as it gears up to offer advertising services to clients for the first time.

Happydog hopes the initiative will let it expand its relationship with its clients into the above-the-line advertising arena and pitch for standalone above-the-line work.

To drive this new advertising capability, happydog - founded by the chairman, Nick Jankel-Elliott, and the chief executive, Scott Walker from TBWA/London - has hired Robert Marsh as its managing director. Marsh was previously a Lycos board director at Leagas Delaney.

Marsh has also worked at BMP DDB as a group account director with clients including American Airlines, London Transport and Johnson & Johnson.

Happydog has also hired two senior creatives, Ben Duckett and Simon Clark from the branding specialists Wolff Olins, as its joint creative directors.

Previously, Duckett worked with clients including travel portal Opodo and Uefa. Clark worked with Unilever and on the name change of Orange in Belgium to Base.

Stephanie Safari also joins as the planning director from TBWA. Safari had spent a year at Wieden & Kennedy as a senior planner on Nike.

Happydog has repositioned its offering in response to client demand for the agency to develop ad campaigns if a strategic brief requires it.