Chris Howatson has been named CEO of Clemenger Group’s Australian agencies, which includes CHE Proximity, Clemenger BBDO, Clemenger Brisbane and Levo.
Within Clemenger Group, the new division will be referred to as Clemenger Agency Brands and has been created to accelerate a future-facing creativity model that has the elasticity to serve clients across their entire business.
Clemenger Group chair, Robert Morgan said: “Chris Howatson has demonstrated incredible energy, foresight, determination and flair to build CHE Proximity into one of the world’s great new age creative agencies.
“I know he will take on these new responsibilities with the same energy to lead the customer transformation across our other agencies.”
The Clemenger Agency Brands division is descriptive in nature and does not reflect any changes to how the brands go to market.
Both Clemenger BBDO and CHE Proximity will continue as separate, conflict-managing agencies.
Nick Garret, recognised as one of Australia’s best creative leaders, will continue in his role as CEO Clemenger BBDO, Australia.
Morgan added: “We are committed to celebrating the differences between our agencies, their cultures and geographies.
“We will maintain our different brands and cultures, yet benefit from cutting-edge common capabilities that are needed to best serve our clients to win in the new era of advertising.
“This structural change enables us to move faster and with greater efficacy.”
Howatson said: “Creativity is an economic multiplier that when applied to all dimensions of our clients’ businesses – product, service, experience, process and culture – is near impossible for competitors to rapidly imitate.
“With over 700 people, we are Australia’s leading creativity consultancy.
“However, there is an important distinction between creative and creativity: Creative is what a department does when producing ads.”
He continued: “Creativity is a way of thinking that creates value in all and any application across a client’s business – communications sometimes being an output, but increasingly not, as we support clients across all business functions as well as their customers across all journeys.
“Over the last 70 years we’ve heavily invested in building a culture of creativity, and with this next phase of CABs, we’ll continue to see investment in both of our leading brands to build a future-facing creativity model.
“This is more than enhancing data, experience and technology services, but how those capabilities are applied with signature Clemenger Group creativity.”
Howatson concluded: “Historically all agencies have essentially done the same thing.
“Critically, what we’ll be building is a portfolio of brands each fluent in modern communication design and orchestration, but importantly differentiated by their own creativity stretch.
“CHE Proximity has emerged as a leader via its Connected Creativity customer experience approach to brand management and business transformation.
“While Clemenger BBDO has successfully expanded from a focus on advertising to a wider lens of applied creativity thinking.”