All change in London adland: Billy Faithfull leaves Engine, Ben Bilboul departs Karmarama

Must be the Great Resignation. Engine Creative (formerly WCRS) stalwart Billy Faithfull (below) is to leave the agency after 15 years. Engine being sold to Next 15’s ODD.

CCO Faithfull says: “Since mid 2021, I have been discussing with the business my plans to move on to pastures new, but with the disruption of the pandemic and the sale of the business on the horizon, I never felt the time was right. With Engine now in safe hands, and a decade and a half under my belt, the call of the wild beckons. We’ve done extraordinary things at 60 Great Portland Street, hired extraordinary people, had extraordinary laughs, but a new adventure awaits for me, and also for this incredible agency.

“I’m immensely proud of the work we put out into the world, and prouder still of the people who put as much faith in me as I did in them. In Phil (Fearnley, CEO) and Next15, the agency has at last found the home it deserves, and I’ll be rooting for them all the way.”

Faithfull, one of the best creative directors around, has worked on Warburtons, Santander, The Royal Navy & Marines, MoneySuperMarket and E.ON plus award-winning purpose campaigns for Women’s Aid, The Born Free Foundation, Missing Type for NHS Blood & Transplant and ‘Long Live The Prince’ for The Kiyan Prince Foundation.

Another London agency vet, Karmarama CEO Ben Bilboul (below), is also off to pastures new, leaving after 20 years to be replaced by chief client officer James Denton-Clark.

Bilboul, who is also MD of Accenture Interactive in the UK, says: “Karmarama has always been a pioneer within the creative industries. It’s an extraordinary honour to have the opportunity to lead such a group of ridiculously talented people as we continue to use creativity to grow brands and redefine our industry.”

Two years of Covid and what seems a lifetime spent on Zoom is surely a factor in adland’s Great Resignation. It’s also true that, Covid aside, creative agencies just ain’t as much fun as they used to be with digital everywhere, holding companies and private equity holding the purse strings and media agencies in the driving seat with clients.

The coming generation won’t have the same skills as Bilboul, a courteous and accomplished manager and, especially, CCO Faithfull who never missed an opportunity for a good old-fashioned blockbuster.

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