Heartfield and entertainment expert Austin take over as creative bosses at BBH

Highly regarded BBH ECD Nick Gill is standing down to concentrate on major accounts Tesco and Barclays plus his own writing. He is succeeded by former deputies Ian Heartfield and Anthony Austin (below).

BBH worldwide CCO Pelle Sjoenell says: “BBH London has experienced a glorious era under the creative leadership of Nick Gill. It is a privilege that we are now able to point his enormous talent exclusively at the work, free of any executive responsibilities. This is also a great moment to pass the baton to Ian and Ant, whose names are all over the brilliant work coming out of Kingly Street. I’m incredibly excited about this next chapter for the Mothersheep (BBH’s symbol is a black sheep).”

Sjoenell, himself fairly new in the job, is never knowingly understated and, in truth, it hasn’t all been plain sailing for BBH during Gill’s reign, chiefly due to the upheaval that occurred when minority shareholder Publicis Groupe bought the whole of BBH a few years back. But Gill has kept BBH’s creative reputation, if not that for retaining business, more or less intact during a sometimes difficult period.

For some of us BBH creativity will always be synonymous with founder Sir John Hegarty although Gill’s predecessor was actually John O’Keeffe, now worldwide creative director of WPP.

BBH does seem to have recaptured some of its mojo recently with decent work for Audi, its signature account, new client Absolut and Tesco, after a poor start. It also has to navigate the new era of online content and branded entertainment, which is Austin’s speciality.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.