Dentsu Creative taps Izzard-Brown as UK Chief Strategy Officer

By Ibidunni Banjoko

In a bid to establish itself as a driving force for modern creativity, and one of the most innovative and compelling agencies in the UK, Dentsu Creative has appointed Theo Izzard-Brown to head up a multi-disciplinary strategy team across Dentsu Creative’s UK centres of excellence in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh.

He will work closely with Dentsu Creative’s specialist strategy leaders in Experience, Brand Transformation, Entertainment, and Earned Attention to developing integrated and innovative solutions for clients across the network, including Heinz, DAZN, Waitrose, The Co-operative Bank, Vodafone, Kellogg’s, Halfords and Generali.

He takes over the running of UK strategy from Pats McDonald, Dentsu Creative’s global chief strategy officer, and will report to Jessica Tamsedge, incoming Dentsu Creative UK CEO when they both start in June.

Izzard-Brown is perfectly positioned to lead DENTSU CREATIVE’s growing and ambitious team. With 20 years of experience at best-of-breed creative agencies and a strong digital background, he is a highly successful strategist with an instinct for integration.

Since joining McCann London eight years ago as head of strategy, rising to CSO in 2017, he has been instrumental in helping to revive the agency’s creative and commercial fortunes. He has led and won every notable agency pitch, including Reckitt, Pernod Ricard’s Chivas and Gin portfolio, Just Eat Takeaway, and Aldi. He also has a consistent track record of delivering effective, popular, IPA, Cannes and Effie award-winning communication platforms such as Just Eat Takeaway (Snoop, Katie Perry), Xbox Design Lab Originals (The Franchise Model) and How Aldi Saved Christmas (Kevin the Carrot. Previously, Izzard-Brown was at Wieden + Kennedy London, where he led the award-winning Arla account and Agency Republic London.

While commenting on the appointment, Izzard-Brown said: “This role presents a unique opportunity to imagine the kind of a business Dentsu Creative can and should be for the UK market. I hope to build on the incredible work the team has already started to enshrine, with sustainable business practices at the heart of its culture; practices that are culturally additive, commercially transformative, and above all, good for its people.”

A committed mentor and advocate for DEI, community, culture and wellbeing will be at the heart of Izzard-Brown’s agenda as he builds the team in the UK. “It’s vital to me that we create sustainable working conditions for our people, not just our clients, allowing them to bring their personal passions and curiosity into everything they do, the best ideas come from healthy, happy, inclusive teams. Only when we feel seen, as well as encouraged, does the collaborative magic happen,” he added.

James Morris, Dentsu Creative EMEA & UK CEO said: “2023 is shaping up to be an incredibly exciting year. Theo is an outstanding strategist, driving creative excellence and effectiveness for clients, while caring deeply about his teams and building a strong culture. I’d like to thank global CSO, Pats McDonald, for her valued guidance and support in overseeing the UK, while we found the perfect talent in Theo to lead this important market strategically.”

Patricia McDonald, global chief strategy officer Dentsu Creative said: “I’m delighted to welcome Theo to Dentsu Creative UK. He brings that rare combination of a passion for Creative and Strategic Excellence with a genuine care and compassion for his teams. He’s a true hybrid talent, with a proven track record across the UK’s most successful integrated agencies. We have fantastic strategy leadership already in our UK business within our specialist disciplines of Brand, Content and Experience Strategy. Theo’s arrival will help us combine our superpowers and take them to the next level”.

Izzard-Brown will join the UK senior leadership team which includes, among others: incoming CEO, Jessica Tamsedge, Chief Experience Officer, Rob Chalmers, Executive Creative Director, Sue Higgs, President, Rowan Manning, Chief Content Officer, Matt Potter, Head of Design, Alex Fairman, Chief Production Officer, Susie Innes, Head of Project Management and Creative Operations, Barratt Mistry, Chief Operating Officer, Rachel Gibbs-McNeil, Edinburgh Managing Director, Philip Lockwood-Holmes, and Manchester and Newcastle leads, Managing Partners Julie Chadwick and Phil Greenwood.


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