VMLY&R ups its creative game with new CCO Laurent Simon

WPP’s VMLY&R London – which now describes itself as a “brand experience agency” – has hired BBC Creative ECD Laurent Simon as its new chief creative officer.

Before joining BBC Creative Simon was a creative director at adam&eveDDB, where he worked on John Lewis’ ‘The Bear and the Hare’ among others, and other top agencies including BBH, AMV BBDO and Mother. Simon will report to VMLY&R London CEO Justin Pahl (both below, Simon left) and work closely with EMEA CCO Jaime Mandelbaum.

Pahl, a former group chairman of AMV says: “I’ve known Laurent for years, and he is, if not the best, one of the very best in London and possibly the world. He’s bright, engaging, consistently pushing boundaries, and also happens to be a thoroughly lovely chap. So, I am beyond excited to have him join us on this brilliant endeavour.”

Simon says: “I leave the BBC with the satisfaction of having built one of the best creative floors in London and ready for my next challenge. The creation of VMLY&R was a bold move. It shaped something fresh and innovative; and the opportunity to leverage the full power of ideas and experiences to create connected brands, which is truly exciting.”

VML and Y&R looked like a shotgun marriage at the time of the merger with a relatively new team at Y&R London abruptly terminated. But WPP CEO Mark Read has promised to invest in creative talent and the highly-regarded Simon following in the footsteps of Pahl is quite a coup.

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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.