W+K London architect Christie steps down after 17 years

Neil Christie, the architect of Wieden+Kennedy’s London operation along with creatives Tony Davidson and Kim Papworth, is leaving after 17 years. Christie recently returned to London after a brief spell as COO of the independent agency group in Portland. Christie is off to study literature at King’s College in London.

Christie (above) says: “I feel extraordinarily lucky and grateful to have found a home at a place where I’ve been able to work with brilliant people, to make good friends and to be myself. And now looking forward to something completely different, studying literature at King’s College London.”

Christie began his career as a researcher at Allen Brandy & Marsh and then rose to boss of TBWA at a time when the agency had more senior suits than clients. He helped to make W+K London, which had got off to a sticky start, one of the best agencies in the world with outstanding work for the likes of Honda and Nike.


One felt with Neil that he’d rather fallen out of love with advertising in the digital era although he would never admit it. He was a good friend to MAA as we tried to establish ourselves and he’ll be much missed.

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About Stephen Foster

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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.

4 comments

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    Neil was without doubt one of the primary architects of the brilliance of W + K London. The quality of work was far superior to the Nike sports mill in Portland. Anyone capable of persuading a client to sign off on something as strange, yet as brilliant, as “Cog,” will surely be a future winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Good luck, Neil.

  2. Avatar

    Thanks, chaps. The support you have both given to W+K and to me personally over the years is much appreciated. You are gentlemen and scholars. At least now I’ll be able to lay claim to one of those labels.

  3. Avatar

    Oh yes, that wonderful Honda advert. The one that helped hoodwink consumers into thinking that diesel emissions were little more than a technical detail to overcome.

    Not Neil or W+K’s fault of course, but it should’ve been self-evident that diesel can’t possibly be environmentally friendly.

    Disneyfying diesel engines is saldy indicative of the increasing moral turpitude of our self-perpetuating advertising-industrial complex.

  4. Avatar
    Stephen Foster

    Both I’m sure – very best Neil