It’s 10 Quick Questions With CHEP CEO Lee Leggett

It’s 10 Quick Questions With CHEP CEO Lee Leggett

There’s no one busier than an agency boss, that’s why B&T’s keeping things short and sweet with 10 quick questions with CHEP supremo, Lee Leggett…

1. CHEP has garnered heaps of award shortlists and wins lately, have you been surprised?

It’s always a pleasant surprise when you see the shortlists come out and of course picking up metal at the award nights, but knowing the work that the team has been doing and the results they’ve been generating for clients, it’s not come as a shock. It’s the result of a huge amount of energy and work from the team who over the past year or so have been focused on clients and the work

2. The recent APAC Effie’s win and now a great result at the local Effie’s, are they the sweetest accolades?

They’re definitely up there. What’s really pleasing is that our work is being celebrated for its creativity as much as for its effectiveness. We always want to create work that works for our clients, but we’ve really demonstrated that groundbreaking creativity can and does drive effectiveness. And crucially we’ve been recognised for a breadth of work across a number of clients, not simply for one campaign. To me, that means we are doing something right as an agency and that’s important when we look ahead to what’s ahead.

3. Also I can’t forget your Grand Prix win at the Cannes Lions for Samsung Flipvertising, what’s been the client’s reaction?

They’re thrilled as you’d expect – it’s as much their award as it is ours. Brilliant work doesn’t happen without great clients, and we’re lucky that we’ve got those in spades with the team at Samsung. There have been a few occasions this year where we’ve had the privilege to talk about how Flipvertising was created – so apologies if readers have heard this before – but it really is a great example of a client trusting and backing the agency to do something brave and innovative.

4. Does award success help with new business acquisition?

It does in the sense that it validates the effectiveness of our work with potential clients, and that’s a powerful drawcard, but I wouldn’t say it’s a decisive factor. I think having a breadth and depth of capability to help support the need of modern CMO’s, along with solid experience and great talent is more important to the clients that I talk to.

And fundamentally I also think they want a team they trust and like working with. What are the team going to deliver on the tough days – when a project needs extra support, when the client team needs help to get Board approval, when there is a difficult strategic or creative challenge to solve. How do we show up alongside them day-to-day? Not at an awards night – that’s what I think clients really value.

5. As an industry do we place too much importance on award recognition verses clients’ business growth?

We can – not always, but we can get caught up in awards and celebrating what we think is great work. But I think there’s been a positive shift over the years to make sure that we’re celebrating brilliant creativity that truly does drive growth. The work that we’ve been celebrated for this year has categorically done both.

6. I’m always impressed by the scale of your tech and media teams, what’s their current numbers and why have they been so successful?

We’re sitting at roughly 100 staff across the tech and media teams. They’ve been so successful because they’re brilliant at what they do, but crucially for us as an integrated agency, they don’t operate as a silo. They’re integral to our creative thinking and consulting for clients. They’re not just executional parts of our business, they really do influence everything that we do, and that drives better outcomes for clients.

7. When you joined CHEP did you discover any hidden gems?

CHEP is such a unique business in its scale and capability. It was always a business I admired so I feel hugely lucky to now work there and one of the best things about my job is the joy of getting to see everything we do. Agencies are always about the people – those are my gems – and we have them across our business, from the Grad programme through those who are in positions of leadership.

Fundamentally they are an incredibly curious and diverse team who are constantly striving to find new ways of doing things.

That is what delivers great thinking for all our clients – not simply those who’ve been awarded this year – but I also hope it means we create an environment where those who work at CHEP learn & develop in ways that give them personal & professional satisfaction.

8. With the current economic headwinds are your clients holding their current spending expectations?

It’s a mixed bag, much like it is across the economy at the moment. As agency partners, we just continue to be as useful as we can and do our best to support our clients in finding new opportunities or capitalising on the ones in front of them. The key I think is to try and be empathetic to the situation our clients are facing and be as agile and responsive as a leader to make sure our agency is set up to respond to the environment we find ourselves in. A long time ago I worked in an agency called Dare. In its early days, it was a digital only business with a significant amount of project based revenue. When you work in a business like that – where each day brings change – it teaches you how to manage through times like this. A hard way to learn. But no doubt, the experience of working in that era informed my approach to managing a business in times of change.

9. Are you are betting person, if so what are your odds of taking home a B&T Agency of the Year trophy?

I’m not a betting person myself, but if I was, I’d be backing my own horse. How can you not?

10. Important last question do you need a bigger awards trophy cabinet?

That all depends on how the B&T Awards goes I suppose.

Check out the other instalments in the Fast 10 series here:

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Lee Leggett

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