Hegarty annoints Sjoenell as creative successor at BBH

Pelle Sjoenell, ECD of BBH Los Angeles, is to be the worldwide CCO of BBH Group. He replaces Alexandre Gama, of Neogama in Brazil fame, who stepped down last year.

BBH founder and Sjoenell’s predecessor Sir John Hegarty says: “Personally, I’m absolutely delighted that Pelle is now stepping forward to lead BBH creatively. BBH has always been driven by outstanding creativity. Celebrating that and ensuring it continues in a world of expanding needs and opportunities, requires us to not only hire the best creative people possible, but also to be led by the best. That’s why I’m excited by the appointment of Pelle Sjoenell as our new Worldwide Chief Creative Officer.”

Sjoenell says: “I fell in love with advertising because of a Levi’s ad that BBH created when I was a teenager. I’m delighted and extremely honoured to be taking the creative helm of this great agency. Only white sheep can be herded. To lead black ones, you have to be one.”

Sjoenell joined BBH in 2007 and spent three years in New York before opening the agency’s office in Los Angeles in 2010. Before that he worked in Sweden and Fallon in Minneapolis. Gama is going off to do entrepreneurial things after completing his earn-out from BBH and ultimate owner Publicis Groupe.

BBH is a tricky brief: for decades it vied for the title of best indie agency in the world with Portland’s Wieden+Kennedy. But its international network failed to fly and when Neogama had to be bought, 49 per cent shareholder Publicis Groupe bought the whole lot. Publicis is having a tough time at the moment, which doesn’t make Sjoenell’s job any easier.

As for Hegarty he’s irreplaceable. Just about the last of the art school into advertising generation that defined British advertising from the late Sixties onwards, he’s, perhaps, the only remaining British creative who can be regarded as a global figure. But he seems convinced about Sjoenell.

Let’s hope he’s right. British adverts need a strong BBH.

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