McCann Australia has confirmed that national CEO Ash Farr will be moving to the US to take up the role of EVP, global director of strategy and research.
Farr will be based in the Detroit office of Commonwealth//McCann from January 2016, leading the network’s global strategic operations in support of the General Motors Chevrolet account.
As a partner in SMART, Farr was part of the team that merged SMART into McCann and set about transforming McCann into the world’s most awarded agency of 2013, spearheading four years of unprecedented growth and profitability and becoming the top-ranked effectiveness agency in the country.
A planner by training, his passion for advertising and marketing has been honed by stints at Ogilvy, Y&R and DDB, and has spanned North America, Asia, Australasia and Europe. He has collected awards from the IPA, account planning droup, Effies, AMEs, Caxton and Campaign Asia along the way.
Under Farr’s leadership as national CEO, McCann Australia has expanded its services to include media planning and buying, creating a new-generation hybrid agency where creative and media have again fused.
McCann Australia’s new business spree over the past 12 months has seen the addition of AGL, Worksafe, L’Oreal Paris Digital, BIC, Maybelline New York Digital, Defence Housing Australia, Australian Unity and Urban Growth among others. These wins joined a blue-chip client list that includes Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, MasterCard, tigerair and the Federal Government.
In his new global role with Commonwealth//McCann, Farr is returning to his planning roots and will be drawing on his experience across four continents and clients such as Vodafone, SAB Miller, Nestlé, Nike, MasterCard, Ford, Toyota, Land Rover, the Australian Federal Government, Intel, Google and Coca-Cola.
His move follows the elevation last year of McCann Australia executive creative director John Mescall as one of three global McCann ECDs, based in New York, and the transfer in July of McCann Melbourne GAD Jacki Currie to New York as SVP executive account director on L’Oreal Paris USA.
McCann Australia chairman Ben Lilley said: “This is a huge opportunity for Ash and we couldn’t be more excited for him. Like the recent overseas transfers of John Mescall, Jacki Currie and other Melbourne and Sydney staffers, this is testament to both Ash’s many achievements in his time at McCann Australia and the very high regard that our people and work are held in by the rest of the world.
“I just wish they’d stop raiding the Australian office each time for these top global roles! It is though a shining endorsement of the global opportunities available for all of our talented and ambitious thinkers within the broader McCann network.”
Farr added: “I am extremely proud of the McCann Australia team and what we have achieved for our clients. I have been very fortunate to work with such a talented group of people within the agency and such great clients who want to make a difference to their businesses.
“To help reinvent such a famous agency as McCann has been extremely hard work but very rewarding. With three outstanding managing directors in Adam Lee in Sydney, Adrian Mills in Melbourne and Joe Sands in Queensland continuing our fantastic work alongside Ben, the business is in great hands and ready to be taken to the next level. I am now looking forward to the next chapter of my career with McCann in this incredible new role.”
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