MAJOR CREATIVE/MANAGEMENT CHANGES AT JWT IN AUSTRALIA/NZ
JWT has made sweeping changes to its management and creative lineup in Australasia, affecting Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.
In Sydney, Noel Magnus, who has just left the MD post at Draft FCB Sydney, has been appointed Sydney CEO, while current deputy CDs Andy DiLallo and Jay Benjamin (pictured above) have been appointed as joint executive creative directors, partly replacing national ECD Andy McKeon, who is leaving to form his own shop, Bulldozer (see separate story on the blog). Current Sydney managing director Simon Fitch will now oversee New Zealand, replacing John Gutteridge, who will come across to take up the new role of Managing Director of JWT Melbourne, while Richard Muntz (pictured below) departs George Patterson Y&R, Melbourne to take the executive creative director gig of JWT Melbourne. The agency's former CD, Jeremy Wynne, left the agency several weeks ago.
Says Australia and New Zealand regional CEO Amy Smith: “Over the last 15 months we have put the building blocks in place we need to engineer the next generation agency model. We have overhauled our creative and strategic product, attracted some great talent, invested in digital, brand experience specialists and design, and are inviting the best young talent from both here and overseas to join a newly invigorated JWT.
“The work has improved dramatically and we have won both local and international business, including Sheridan, Thrifty, Olympus, Band-Aid, Reach and more recently, Nokia. And now I am shifting the agency up to the next level. The key is to integrate the diverse capabilities we have created into the new generation agency that will deliver Magic for our clients. To this end, I have assembled my dream team."
McKeon, who had only been in the job for little over a year, hired the multi-awarded DiLallo and Benjamin from Saatchi & Saatchi, Auckland in December last year. [The pair were originally discovered by Saatchi & Saatchi Australia ECD David Nobay when he was at Bozell New York, and who followed him when to took the Saatchi Sydney gig.] McKeon was lured to JWT by Amy Smith, who knew him from their Wieden & Kennedy days. He was CD at Strawberryfrog New York when he got the call.
Says DiLallo and Benjamin: "Chances like this are few and far between. We feel that our entire careers have been spent in preparation for this next challenge. We are excited by the chance to apply the knowledge we have gained.”
Says Muntz: "“With an impressive list of icon brands, new heads of business in all markets and a worldwide creative mandate from Craig Davis, this was an agency I just had to be a part of.”
Meanwhile, with the departure of Magnus, Draft FCB Sydney executive creative director Michael Simons will take over his management role for the time being. Simons told CB the agency was in the process of rebranding its offering reflecting the new agency name, which should be completed in six weeks.