JWT appoints Craig Davis
27 January, 2005
Bob Jeffrey, Chief Executive Officer of J. Walter Thompson, today announced the promotion of Craig Davis to Chief Creative Officer Worldwide. Davis takes the creative helm just 10 months after he was hired by JWT's Worldwide President, Michael Maedel, as Chief Creative Officer for JWT Europe, Middle East and Africa. In his new role, Davis will partner Jeffrey in repositioning the agency and pushing creative excellence to the top of the agenda. He also becomes Chairman of JWT's Worldwide Creative Council.
An Australian, Davis, 42, is one of the global advertising industry's leading and award-winning talents. Before joining JWT, he was Regional Executive Creative Director for Saatchi and Saatchi Asia/Africa for four years. Since joining, Davis has implemented a strategy to upgrade the creative talent across JWT EMEA, led the agency's successful creative pitch for the $600 million global HSBC account and secured the launch of Vodafone's 3G network. He has been a key architect in redefining JWT's future direction, its position and standards for creative excellence. Commenting on the appointment, Jeffrey said 'Craig is a breath of fresh air. From the minute he arrived at JWT, he rolled up his sleeves and got on with the job. He has a ruthless ambition to restore this agency to its rightful position as the leading global creative network. He is a very persuasive and inspiring creative leader who is able to encourage the best work from his people. He has a proven track record in delivering effective and outstanding solutions for clients and he is absolutely passionate about his job. He is the ideal creative partner for me and the company.' During his time at Saatchi's, Davis drove the agency to become the number 1 creative network in the Asian region.
He was named 2003 Advertising Person of the Year in Asia by the publication Campaign Brief Asia and in 2002 Ad Age Global named him as one of the top 100 advertising people for his 'dynamism, creativity, innovation, daring and leadership.' In addition to leading Saatchi's Asian region in the creative stakes, Davis's own work as creative director and writer has been repeatedly recognised at Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, Clio and the Gunn Report. Said Davis, 'There has never been a more exciting time to be in the advertising business and I am thrilled to be partnering Bob in JWT's push for creative excellence. Creativity is top of our agenda but we're not banging the same drum as everybody else. The business is changing and we are determined to pioneer that change. We have a point of view about the future of advertising, a fresh conversation to have with clients, a new headspace to work in and a new way to value ideas. It all feels very positive.' Davis started his advertising career as a copywriter/partner in his own agency (Davis Green) in Sydney, Australia. He left the agency in 1999 and sold his shares in the company (then called Doorley Abram Davis and Chapman) to succeed Dave Droga (now Worldwide Chief Creative Officer for Publicis) at Saatchi's in Singapore as executive creative director. He moved to Saatchi's in Hong Kong in 2000 to take up the regional role. Dave Droga commented, 'There are bosses and there are leaders. Craig is without doubt the latter. He radiates confidence and consistently makes those around him better. Better colleagues, better people. Having a huge amount of talent is one thing, having an enormous helping of integrity, that's just damned spoilt. 'I have no doubt that JWT has high expectations of Craig. Not only will he extend its expectations, he will do it with style. He always has.' Neil French, Creative 'Godfather' at WPP said ,'Elevation to the worldwide role will not faze
Craig one iota. Indeed, judging by the plans about to be announced for the agency's future business attitude, it's the rest of the industry that should be deeply worried. 'It's almost unfair that, despite this cold-eyed, aggressive and unswerving drive for great work; despite being young, slim, and good-looking; despite having hair, and being an Aussie, Craig is such a truly nice bloke. There is, frankly, no justice.'