Sharpen joins WDMP as creative chief

Gary Sharpen, the founder of Sharpen Troughton Owens and Leonardo, is joining the independent direct marketing agency WDMP as its first executive creative director.

Sharpen replaces Graham Pugh, the former creative director, who left in December to join DraftFCB. WDMP has appointed Sharpen to the new role in a bid to raise its profile and improve its creativity.

Sharpen is best known for a nine-year spell at Saatchi & Saatchi as its integrated creative director and as the founder of Leo Burnett's direct agency, Leonardo. During this time, he won Direct Marketing Association golds for his work for The Army at Saatchis and for VSO at Leonardo.

His most recent agency role was as the co-founder of Sharpen Troughton Owens, the WPP-backed agency created from the relaunch of Red Cell Response. However, the agency folded after less than a year in September 2006.

Since then, Sharpen has been working on a number of projects, including a graduate awards scheme (the Shelf Awards), which he launched in 2001.

He has also mentored the winning creative team of Nabs' Fast Forward programme and has acted as a consultant to agencies to help them attract young people to the industry.