Dentsumcgarrybowen London brings in two new executive creative directors

Two joint executive creative directors, Sue Higgs from Grey London and Paul Cohen from adam&eveDDB, have joined Dentsumcgarrybowen London to work with CCO Simon Lloyd, who joined the agency in October from adam&eveDDB.

The new hirings are part of Dentsu International’s plan to broaden its global offering to clients outside its traditional media base. This includes making London a creative hub alongside New York and Shanghai. The agency’s CEO, Gareth Collins, joined from Leo Burnett in March 2019.

Cohen has been working at DentsuMB UK since January as creative director on American Express EMEA, and will continue in this role as well as being joint ECD with Higgs. He left adam&eveDDB, where he was global executive creative director for seven years, in September 2020.

He said: “There’s a clear precedent in financial advertising for famous and memorable campaigns. The creative opportunity on AmEx is exciting and one I couldn’t pass up. Being invited to help build an inclusive, informed and high-quality creative department is a privilege.”

Higgs, who will take the lead on insurance group Generali, was a group creative director at Grey until August 2020, and before that worked at Havas Helia, Publicis and Ogilvy. She has also made waves in the industry by speaking out against workplace bullying.

She said: “I have the chance to shape the cultural fabric of the industry and leave it in a better place than how I found it. And with Wendy Clark and Simon Lloyd’s blessing, I am excited to create meaningful change to the work, culture and perspective of Dentsu.”

Wendy Clarke, Dentsu International CEO, has made some bold decisions since she joined in September 2020. She changed the name of the group from Dentsu Aegis Network to Dentsu International, has made 6,000 redundancies so far, and is reducing 300 brands to six operating units as well as cutting the number of CEOs across the group.

Her four-year plan is to build customer experience, evolve the media offering, and develop broader creative capabilities. It’s all still a work in progress — the Japanese Group posted a £960m loss in 2020.

Simon Lloyd said: “Talent creates momentum. Between Paul’s fierce art direction and track record for ambitious work on global brands and Sue’s inspirational leadership and purpose-driven creative fire, we are assembling a team that will take our clients and agency to new heights.”

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.