The agency’s top creative leader stepping into a business-side post continues a recent trend at Grey and the industry at large, indicating the growing importance of creativity and ingenuity in the business itself. Grey London Chief Creative Officer Laura Jordan Bambach added president to her title this February. Diego Medvedocky, the creative chief of Grey Latin America, also serves as the regional president.
“The value a role like this can bring is in putting a creative lens on all the decisions in the network,” Patroulis said. “Seeing acquisitions, mergers, new models through this lens is going to make things better for our creative people and the work. Creativity, as well as the creative orientation of an entire business, is a differentiator.”
“John and Javier have earned these well-deserved promotions,” said Grey Worldwide CEO Michael Houston in a statement. “True to our credo, they have dedicated themselves to solving our clients’ challenges with ‘Famously Effective’ ideas that strike a deep chord in popular culture to drive their success.”
Their promotions, he added, are the “next logical step” in Grey’s global restructuring over the last 18 months that includes reducing the number of its studios around the world and putting a sharper focus on investing in talent, especially on the creative side. “It aligns perfectly with our strategy of being a creatively-led, borderless organization dedicated to delivering what our clients want: the best talent regardless of geography,” said Houston.
In November of last year, WPP announced it would merge Grey with AKQA to create a new “creative solutions” network AKQA Group, and that the Grey name would officially be retired. That move, however, sparked an uproar among staff and upset key client P&G. Since then, Grey has continued to operate under its longstanding brand name while collaborating often with AKQA.
On a broader scale, WPP has been investing heavily in creative talent and kicked off 2021 with the appointment of former McCann Worldgroup Creative Chairman Rob Reilly as global chief creative officer. (In September of this year, Ad Age reported that Campopiano had been approached for a position as chief creative officer of the McCann advertising network).
The past year also saw an infusion of talent at WPP’s Ogilvy, which hired former Leo Burnett and Publicis North America creative chief Liz Taylor as its global chief creative officer; McCann’s Devika Bulchandani as CEO of North America and global chairwoman of advertising; and TBWA/Chiat/Day New York Chief Creative Officer Chris Beresford-Hill as president of North America advertising.
“The companies of WPP are stacked now with some of the best creative talent in the world,” Reilly said. “Clients are wanting to be closer to the creative and this ensures that. We’re betting on Grey and having John and Javi working together will accelerate our paths towards becoming the most creative company in the world.”