Essence CEO EMEA Nick Baughan has joined the agency brain drain to tech/social media, joining Facebook as director of agencies in the UK and Ireland.
Baughan (below), who’s worked for GroupM media agencies for 13 years, will be a big loss to WPP. Digital-based Essence is one of the few bits of WPP that seems to be firing on all cylinders at the moment, exempt (along with Wunderman) from the hiring freeze recently imposed by WPP CEO Mark Read.
Before heading Essence he was CEO of Maxus in the UK before it was merged with MEC to form Wavemaker.
Facebook VP northern Europe Steve Hatch says: “Our business in the UK was built on our relationship with agencies and, 11 years on, agencies remain our most important partner. Our goal is for us to be theirs.
“Every part of our industry is changing and I am thrilled that someone of Nick’s experience, insight and reputation has chosen to join us in this key leadership role. His understanding and knowledge will be invaluable in our partnering with agencies to drive business value for advertisers.”
Facebook is already reckoned to be the UK’s third biggest ad media owner after Google and ITV (although it continues to deny it’s a media owner) and Baughan’s ability to build relationships with big clients – most notably BT and L’Oreal at Maxus – will make it even stronger.