New-style agency LIFE signs Van De Ven as ECD

There’s always a new spin on this agency lark, although being an ad agency doesn’t seem to hurt the likes of adam&eveDDB and Goodby Silverstein too much.

One such is LIFE which says it puts marketing first and communications second, following a path it calls ‘Creative Consequence.’ This it has developed with the help of LIFE board member Professor Leslie de Chernatony. Sounds as though the prof should be played by Mike Myers.

unnamed-10Anyway LIFE has hired a new ECD Maurice Van De Ven (left), latterly ECD of MEC London, which you may have thought was a WPP media agency. Prior to that Van De Ven was global creative director of Strawberry Frog and before that worked at Mother in London.

Van De Ven says: “I am delighted to be joining LIFE. They are a fantastically strong-minded, intelligence-led agency with some phenomenal clients. I’ve been looking for the opportunity to shape a creative team that can respond to the phenomenal speed of change in our industry and work with clients to figure out what’s important and what’s not.”

Ian Humphris, joint managing director of LIFE joint MD Ian Humphries says: “Maurice has a brief to smash the walls down. We’re building a creative power house and are attracting clients who want more strategic creative work. We want our work to count and we want to work with clients that give a shit – not all do.”

Brave words but the proof, as ever, will be in the pudding. Which, ideally, would be a decent ad campaign or three.


LIFE was bought by print-based quoted company Communisis in December last year. Communisis seems to be serious about marketing services and has just grouped a number of other acquisitions in what it’s calling PSONA group (well you can’t have everything). Not LIFE though, it seems.

Jamie-Bell-quits-VCCP-me-for-Psona.jpg-newPSONA Group has just hired former VCCPme creative partner Jamie Bell (left) as its ECD. Bell also worked at M&C Saatchi and Grey.

LIFE began life as a production agency, which is presumably how it caught the eye of Communisis. Production giant Tag was bought some years ago by Deutsche Post-owned Williams Lea, another printer.

So it will be interesting to see if such a base can create a real marcoms contender in the UK and elsewhere.

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