WPP has named Karen Blackett (above) as its first UK country manager, making her the most important agency leader in the British ad industry. Blackett, who will retain her current role as chairwoman of MediaCom UK for six months, has been appointed with immediate effect. She will work with 17,000 staff in dozens of agencies spanning media, creative, design, branding, data and public relations across WPP’s £2 billion-a-year UK operation.
Renault has promoted Adam Wood to the role of UK and Ireland marketing director, as part of a wider shake-up of its marketing structure aimed at providing "clearer ownership" of its brands. Wood, who joined the marque 10 years ago as part of its graduate intake, steps up from his previous position as head of marketing communications. He replaces James Boyer, a Renault veteran of 26 years, who is joining the global team in Paris to assume the role of deputy chief marketing manager for pick-ups. Chris White becomes deputy marketing director and brand manager for Renault Cars, while Ed Preston is promoted to head of marketing communications. Ben Fletcher becomes range manager for Renault Z.E. (Zero Emission vehicles) and Steve Wilson becomes range manager for Renault Pro+ Commercial Vehicles.
Group M has named Tom George as UK chief executive, replacing Nick Theakstone who moves after ten years to be global chief investment officer.
Richard Cristofoli, marketing director at Debenhams, has been promoted to managing director of beauty, beauty services and marketing.
Nick Manning, chief strategy officer of Ebiquity, is leaving after 10 years as a director of the media auditing and insight firm. Manning declined to comment on his next move. But there is speculation that he could be starting a business in 2018.
Juliet Haygarth, the chief executive of BMB, is stepping down from the role to recover from health issues. Haygarth joined BMB as chief executive in 2014. She was previously the managing director of Brothers & Sisters. Aaron Lau, a director of BMB and the president of international and chief executive, North America at Cheil Worldwide, will step up to support the existing management team.
M&C Saatchi has appointed Saatchi & Saatchi's joint head of planning Raquel Chicourel as its new chief strategy officer. She will begin her new role in March and will be responsible for thought leadership across the agency’s client base, as well as developing "Brutal Simplicity of Thought" – M&C Saatchi’s founding ethos. She replaces Gaby Bell who left in July to start a business.
William Grant & Sons has promoted Caspar MacRae to UK marketing director, as the previous incumbent in the post Gary Keogh is promoted to regional marketing director for EMEA.
Red Brick Road’s new data agency Emerald will be run by Claire Aldous. She has joined from Oliver where she was head of data planning and analytics. She will be a shareholding director of Emerald.
John Thomson has joined 360i Europe as its new head of media from sister Dentsu Aegis Network agency, Carat, where he was group strategic planning director.
Quiet Storm is bolstering its creative department, digital offering, and client servicing with three senior new appointments. Laurence Quinn joins the agency as creative director, Scott Powney as digital director, and Jonathan Dale as business director. Quinn joins from adam&eveDDB, Powney, previously the head of digital at PSONA, while Dale was previously at St Luke’s where he was a business director.
Accolade Wines, the owner of Hardys and Echo Falls, has appointed Moët Hennessy's David White as UK marketing director.
Harry Lang has left his role as marketing director at Pinnacle Sports to found brand and marketing optimisation consultancy Brand Architects. He has worked in gaming for over ten years for leading operators including WMS, Rank, bwin.party and Pinnacle.
Online travel agent Secret Escapes has hired Louise Nolder as its new global brand development director. Prior to a consulting role with Secret Escapes, Nolder was head of brand and communications at JustGiving. Before this she spent more than 15 years agency-side as a senior planner, first at Ogilvy and then Abbott Mead Vickers, working on a range of global and local brands including Dove, BT, Birds Eye and Aviva.
Chime Communications-owned agency SNAP London has boosted its creative department with three new creative directors. David Beattie, Ed Cox and Tony Clements will join creative director Martin Galton, who has been at the shop since it launched last year. Beattie comes from sister agency VCCP, where he was European CD leading work for easyJet and O2. Cox and Clements teamed up after meeting on Wunderman’s winning pitch for BT EE.
Everton Football Club has appointed a new head of marketing. Tom Rowell joins from Hull City, where he was marketing, communications and ticketing manager. Rowell has held marketing roles for a number of football clubs including Leicester City, Doncaster Rovers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City.
Manchester’s full service, e-commerce agency, PushOn has promoted Sam Rutley to the role of managing director. Rutley joined the business back in 2008 as an account executive and worked his way up to the development team to become digital director in 2012.
Above+Beyond has strengthened its creative department by hiring Ben Gough and Jordan Dale as creatives. Gough, a recent runner-up in the 2017 Homespun Yarns short film competition, most recently worked as a freelance creative at Mother, Anomaly and Don’t Panic and from 2011 to 2015 was a creative at Leo Burnett. Dale worked as a creative in New Zealand where he held positions at Ogilvy & Mather NZ, TBWA/Whybin and bcg2 before joining Colenso BBDO in Auckland.
Sam Moqbel, managing director of brand experience agency Mars Events, has left to join Jack Morton Worldwide as business director. Separately, the agency has named Melissa Rose as its first chief people officer. Rose brings over 20 years of experience in strategic human resources and business partnership at a global level. Most recently, she served as vice president, human resources at Anaqua, a global intellectual property software company.
Ecommerce and digital agency Visualsoft, based in Manchester, Newcastle and Teeside, has promoted Gavin Lowther to head of digital. Lowther has been at the agency for eight years, most recently leading the conversion rate optimisation team.
Dewynters, the live entertainment marketing agency, has promoted Kirsty Doubleday to director of client services. In this new role, Doubleday will take ownership of all Dewynters’ client facing teams. Ben Portnoi has also been promoted to director of media and analytics at Dewynters.Previously the head of digital, Portnoi has also held positions at UM London and agenda21 digital Ltd.
Sam Fenwick has made a comeback to RPM as a business director after a five year break from the agency. She previously worked for RPM, as an account director on experiential projects including "Smirnoff presents Sensation". She returns to RPM after taking some time out to run her own business that provided event strategies and marketing plans to fledgling and start-up businesses.
Truth, the global blockchain-enabled media agency, has named its board of advisors. They are Jonathan Durden, co-founder of PHD; Tim Hipperson, chairman of Fearlessly Frank and founder of Morph; Sean Gogarty, former chief executive, baking, cooking and spreads at Unilever; Mimi Turner, formerly senior vice president, strategy at Vice UK and marketing director at Ladbible; Frank Morris, CISO - FTSE insurer and security leader at NCC Group and Ben Brophy, chief executive, Blocklab.