• Monday, Oct. 21, 2019
Angela Zepeda named CMO of Hyundai Motor America
Angela Zepeda
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. -- 

Hyundai Motor America has named Angela Zepeda, sr. VP and managing director at its agency of record Innocean USA, as its new chief marketing officer. Zepeda will be responsible for all of Hyundai’s marketing and advertising activities in the U.S., including the strategic direction, brand development, national and regional advertising, experiential marketing, digital and social media, brand partnerships, and lead generation, among other responsibilities. She will report to Hyundai Motor America COO Brian Smith.

At Innocean USA, Zepeda handled all operations for the Hyundai business including creative, planning and media operations. She was initially hired by the agency to head up business development.

“In the three years Angela has been at Innocean USA, we have seen the positive results of her leadership as the agency has grown both internally and externally,” said Steve Jun, CEO and President, Innocean USA. “We are excited that we will continue working with Angela in her new role at Hyundai, as we know the experience she brings as a leader will certainly bolster all of their marketing efforts.”

Zepeda is a seasoned marketing executive with more than 25 years of experience. She has built a career on consumer-centric campaigns that build brands and drive business results, and is an expert in online and digital marketing.

“It’s a great honor to be going in-house at Hyundai and I’m excited by the challenge of leading the marketing team during this transitional time for the automotive industry,” said Zepeda. “Hyundai is a brand on an upward trajectory with sales growth that outpaces the industry, a revamped product lineup, and a laser focus on the customer experience. I’m looking forward to getting started and building upon the marketing department’s recent successes and accomplishments.”

Hyundai’s Smith said, “Angela is a dynamic and accomplished marketer with an impressive depth of experience across the entire marketing spectrum and will be an outstanding addition to our leadership team. Angela was already a member of our extended family and we’ve seen firsthand her creativity, business acumen and talent in building our brand and leading teams. She is well-respected by the entire organization and our dealers, and will be able to seamlessly transition to leading the marketing function here at Hyundai.”

Previous to Innocean, Zepeda was CEO of Quigley-Simpson in Los Angeles, where she oversaw all aspects of the agency—from brand leadership to new business development to operational efficiencies. Before that, Zepeda was CMO of Campbell Ewald Los Angeles, where she played a key role in growing the agency’s business. Zepeda has also worked at some of Los Angeles’ best-known agencies, including TBWA\Chiat\Day, Team One, Rapp, Doner, and FCB, providing counsel to clients in the automotive, healthcare, financial services and packaged goods industries.

Zepeda is also an expert in marketing to women, with a keen understanding of the emotional triggers involved in women’s retail habits. She has spoken on the topic at various conferences, including the ISSM CONVERGE Conference, the WLN Conference, the M2W Conference in Chicago, and the Marketing to Women Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Zepeda holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Advertising from California State University, Fullerton. She is a member of thinkLA, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the American Advertising Federation and held board positions with the Susan G. Komen organization and the LA Grant Foundation.

Zepeda replaces Dean Evans as CMO, who after four successful years has decided to depart Hyundai to pursue other career opportunities. Sean Gilpin, VP of media planning at Innocean USA will be the interim team lead while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement for Zepeda.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019
MPC promotes Louise Unwin to head of production in London
Louise Unwin
LONDON -- 

Moving Picture Company (MPC) has promoted Louise Unwin from sr. producer to head of production for its London studio.

Since joining MPC in 2016, Unwin has been instrumental in producing memorable projects such as the award-winning Easyjet “Imagine” and Mailchimp campaigns both directed by The Sacred Egg, BT Sport’s “Being Dele Alli” with director Pedro Martin-Calero, Marks & Spencer’s “Spend it Well” with François Rousselet, and Bose’s “Get Closer” with Jaron Albertin.

Unwin began her career at Click 3X in New York before working her way up to VFX Producer at The Mill, London. This was later followed by stints at Envy and Freefolk.

  • Monday, Oct. 14, 2019
Josh Mandel named managing director/president of The Mill LA
Josh Mandel
LOS ANGELES -- 

Josh Mandel, a high-profile executive in the advertising industry, has joined The Mill’s studio in Los Angeles as managing director/president. Mandel brings two decades of experience including opening R/GA LA to strategically service Beats by Dre. Prior to that, he held leadership roles in both strategy and marketing at 72&Sunny, 180Amsterdam, Wieden+Kennedy and Nike. He also built and ran the internal creative studio of Hip-Hop music pioneer All Def. Mandel’s commitment to growth and diversity of experience has seen him work across Europe, Mexico and the U.S. 

Mandel’s appointment reinforces the focus of The Mill in partnering with clients to deliver cutting-edge creative work. The Los Angeles studio is recognized for pioneering first-of-their-kind experiential and creative technology initiatives, such as the recent collaboration with Cashmere Cat and Jake Schreier on the groundbreaking music video, “Emotions.” The latest installment of the Apex Legends collaboration, “Meltdown Launch Trailer,” reached over 6 million views on YouTube within a week of launch. The studio also added to its portfolio of iconic commercial work with multiple USA Today Ad Meter-rated spots for Super Bowl 53, as well as other work that continues to be recognized with accolades from the AICP Show, Cannes Lions, and The Webbys.

Robin Shenfield, The Mill’s CEO and co-founder commented, “A recurrent theme in Josh’s background is his association with great creative work, his business development acumen and breadth of strategic experience; skills that will provide the vision to execute world-class work and enhance our culture of excellence. Josh’s collaborative personality is well-suited to The Mill.”

Mandel said, “Our business at its core is about creative problem solving, and no one is better at that than The Mill. I’ve had the good fortune to have previously worked with The Mill on industry-defining work while on the agency side and am beyond excited as we forge ahead with new technologies and the stories they can unleash.”

  • Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019
Juliet Tierney joins Nexus Studios in LA as EP for spots, branded content 
Juliet Tierney
LONDON -- 

Nexus Studios has brought producer Juliet Tierney on board its Los Angeles office to serve as executive producer for commercials and branded content.

Before joining Nexus Studios, she led Ntropic’s L.A. studio as EP and was head of production at Eight VFX where her team’s work was highlighted in the Oscar nominated I, Tonya and the FOX sci-fi primetime show The Orville (created by Seth McFarlane).

Her career began in London, working for production companies such as Great Guns and Love as well as agencies including Wieden+Kennedy, Fallon and Mother, producing the notable Orange ‘Goldspot’ ads featuring Rob Lowe, Snoop Dogg, Angelica Houston and others.

Tierney said, “I’ve always been a huge fan of Nexus Studios and the work they do. I’ve been fortunate to work closely with the team during my recent years in VFX and am extremely excited to be part of the company expanding the creative vision in L.A.”

Nexus Studios’ co-founder and ECD Christopher O’Reilly said of Tierney, “She has a great understanding of the evolving landscape of commercial production here. From our previous collaborations we know her to be a resourceful and intelligent executive with great experience. She has worked at a high level in strong creative agencies but also has large scale practical animation and VFX production skills.”

  • Friday, Oct. 11, 2019
VJ Anand joins VaynerMedia Singapore as ECD
VJ Anand
SINGAPORE -- 

VJ Anand will be joining VaynerMedia Singapore in November as executive creative director, SVP. In this role, he will oversee the agency’s creative product in the Asia-Pacific region and report to Avery Akkineni, head of VaynerMedia Singapore. Anand was most recently SVP of creative at Indonesia’s first and largest decacorn startup, Gojek. 

Anand’s appointment is the latest hire since VaynerMedia Singapore opened its Asia-Pacific operation in July this year. 

“The Asia-Pacific region is an important market for our clients, therefore it was imperative to establish our presence here,” said Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia. “Our Singapore office is growing and VJ is a key hire as we continue to scale our business in the region.” 

At Gojek, Anand led the company’s internal creative agency where he built and spearheaded creative, social media, digital, events, activation and in-app content for the brand. Prior to joining Gojek, Anand was executive creative director at BBDO Malaysia and TBWA Malaysia, working on clients such as Fonterra, Taylor’s University, Guardian, UMobile and Mercedes. At TBWA Group Malaysia, Anand played a key role in helping the group become Malaysia’s number one creative agency in several award shows. Throughout his career, Anand has been recognized by Cannes Lions, Spikes Asia, New York Festivals and the London International Awards. 

Anand said, “We live in a world where social is first. After being client-side at a tech giant, I could see the need in this market for an agency that can marry content, media and social well, and VaynerMedia is that. I was also stoked after talking to Gary and learning how being an independent agency makes us more nimble. His people-first and empathy-focused philosophy really hit the spot for me.” 

  • Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019
Joint hires Nirad “Bugs” Russell as EP specializing in VFX
Nirad "Bugs" Russell
PORTLAND, Ore. -- 

Joint, a creative post production company, has hired Nirad “Bugs” Russell as an executive producer.

Russell is relocating to Portland from New York City where he most recently freelanced as a senior VFX producer at The Mill.

Originally from South Africa, Russell first fell in love with VFX and postproduction during a stint at The Mill London beginning in 2002. Since that time, he’s done work at Absolute Post in London and New York; and later, worked as an executive producer in the New York office of Mass Market until 2015.

In that time, Russell has worked with a number of notable directors on lauded campaigns such as the AT&T “It Can Wait” PSA campaign, “Close to Home,” directed by Frederic Planchon and the Hennessy spot, “The Piccards,” directed by Daniel Wolfe, both of which were shortlisted for best VFX honors in multiple shows. Other noteworthy VFX campaigns produced by Russell include PlayStation’s “Skyrim” and Adidas’ “Never Finish.”

Patty Brebner, director of Joint and W+K Studios, said of Russell, “His passion for creative storytelling and pedigree collaborating with the best VFX artists and directors in the industry made him an obvious choice to lead this team and grow our capabilities.”

Russell will oversee a team of visual effects supervisors and artists (including CG and animation) and color talent.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019
Spencer Dodd joins Siobhan Murphy at Merman’s branded division
Spencer Dodd (l) and Siobhan Murphy
LONDON -- 

Merman’s advertising and branded division has brought Spencer Dodd on board as managing director/EP alongside Siobhan Murphy. Dodd and Murphy will serve as joint managing directors. Dodd joins Merman after eight-and-a-half years at The Sweetshop.

Dodd cut his teeth working alongside industry heavyweights including Dave Trott, Geoffrey Seymour, Chris Palmer, Frank Budgen, Paul Rothwell and Helen Kenny, going on to produce some of the U.K.’s biggest and most loved TV commercials for brands such as HSBC, Sony, BBC, Hovis, HSBC, Nike, Guinness, Sky and VW for production companies Gorgeous Enterprises and The Sweetshop. 

Dodd said, “The opportunity to join one of the most interesting, exciting and future facing companies out there was impossible to ignore. Merman is perfectly positioned to navigate the evolving landscape. At a time when agency and client briefs are diversifying and the ways in which people are looking to advertise vary wildly I think that Merman is well placed to cater for all those needs. Especially so given their exciting new partnership with Independent Talent Group which gives them access to the most established and emerging talent from the worlds of entertainment.”

Dodd will be partnering with Murphy who has been leading Merman’s advertising and branded entertainment sector as business development director over the past two years. Murphy’s wealth of experience spanning two decades has led to her rise at Merman where she has helped establish the brand while signing award- winning directorial talent such as MJ Delaney.

Murphy and Spencer are also joined by Clara Bennett, head of production, who previously worked with production companies including Somesuch, Biscuit, Bullion, Bold and 76 Ltd.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019
Allen, Hilson promoted to deputy ECDs at AMV BBDO
Toby Allen (l) and Jim Hilson
LONDON -- 

AMV BBDO has promoted creative directors Toby Allen and Jim Hilson to deputy executive creative directors.

Allen and Hilson have led the transformation of Essity into the U.K.’s most awarded account at Cannes, breaking taboos and shaping culture with Bloodnormal, Viva La Vulva and red.fit for Bodyform, as well as Keep Control for Tena Men. They are also creative leads on the recent headline-grabbing #addresspollution campaign, disrupting the London property market to raise awareness of air pollution.

In 2014 they launched “Hatch,” a creative academy to draw in a more diverse talent pool to AMV, and in 2018 their efforts were recognized by Management Today, naming them alongside FTSE 100 CEOs as “Agents of Change” for workplace equality.

Prior to joining AMV BBDO in 2012 they worked at W+K, producing Honda’s “Spark” and Nike’s 2012 Olympics work, and at BBH, creating multi award-winning campaigns for Audi, Barnardo’s, and Levi’s.

Allen and Hilson are the 7th most awarded creative directors in the world this year, with back-to-back Cannes Titanium Lions, a D&AD Black pencil, and a career haul of over 20 Grand Prix and Best in Shows at Cannes, One Show, Clios and other global awards.

Allen and Hilson will work with CCO Alex Grieve and ECDs Nadja Lossgott and Nicholas Hulley, with a focus on leading AMV’s new creative incubator and unlocking creativity throughout the agency.

  • Monday, Oct. 7, 2019
LaCour, Rayburn, Waldrip become partners in charlieuniformtango
Pictured (l-r) are charlieuniformtango’s Joey Waldrip, James Rayburn, Jack Waldrip, Lola Lott and Deedle LaCour
DALLAS -- 

The charlieuniformtango studio has named three of its most veteran artists as new partners. Joining tango’s leadership are current editors Deedle LaCour and James Rayburn, and Flame artist Joey Waldrip. This is the first time in tango’s almost 25-year history that the partnership has expanded. All three will retain their current work responsibilities. LaCour and Rayburn become sr. editors/partners while Waldrip is now sr. Flame artist/partner. Company founders Lola Lott and Jack Waldrip will remain principal/CEO and sr. editor/co-owner, respectively. Lott will retain majority ownership of charlieuniformtango which will continue as a woman and minority-owned company with its current team of seasoned executive producers, producers and artists in place. 

“Deedle, Joey, and James came to me and Jack with a solid business plan buying into the company with their futures in mind,” related Lott. “All have been with charlieuniformtango almost from the beginning: Deedle for 20 years, Joey for 19 years and James for 18. Jack and I were very impressed and touched that they were interested and willing to come to us with funding and plans for continuing and growing their futures with us.

“This transition goes beautifully with charlieuniformtango’s brand of family first,” continued Lott. “The company will be celebrating 25 years in a very challenging industry next year, and it’s time for me and Jack to be looking ahead to the next generation of leadership. In the past we’ve been approached by outsiders and we have declined because we knew and know that protecting our culture and people was the most important part to staying at the top. We knew it had to go to people who have grown from the ground up along with us. We’re very excited to have these three long-term and valued employees--and now partners--join us to shoulder and guide the future of charlieuniformtango.”

LaCour said, “The three of us have invested in the company because we believe in it. We believe in all of the employees and their talent and we believe in ourselves. We each want to continue to excel creatively and build on the reputation and success that Lola and Jack have created and fostered these last 25 years and it’s our desire and dream to go another 25 to our 50th anniversary.

  • Monday, Oct. 7, 2019
Kate Taylor named managing director/EP at Rogue
Kate Taylor
LONDON -- 

Kate Taylor, previously managing director of Skunk London, has joined Rogue as its new managing director/executive producer. She takes the helm from Rogue co-founder David van der Gaag and will be working in London alongside EP and head of production James Howland, with a brief to continue the evolution and reinvigoration of the company first founded in 1998.

Howland joined Rogue in 2001 and has produced many ground-breaking and award-winning pieces of work with director Sam Brown. His contributions to advertising have been widely recognized, having been awarded the “Achievement in Production” Craft Arrow, by the British Arrows, a record four times.

Prior to setting up and managing Skunk London, Taylor worked in production at Rattling Stick, Biscuit and RSA.  

Charlie Crompton, co-founding partner of Rogue, said, “Kate is widely regarded as one of the smartest and most creative EPs in London. She deserves that reputation because she’s proved that she’s brilliant at finding and nurturing talent, is immersed in the craft of filmmaking and is also an endlessly creative and collaborative producer.” 

Van der Gaag added, “I can’t think of a better qualified MD to come in and complement James’ production skills. Together they’re going to be a phenomenal partnership and we’re genuinely flattered that they buy into our ambitious vision for Rogue and the broader group of Blink/Rogue/Carnage companies going forward.”
 
Taylor said, “Running Skunk London has been a privilege. We’ve had some considerable successes and I am extremely proud of what we’ve achieved. Now, to be MD at such a prestigious production house as Rogue is just brilliant. I’m excited about the future and share their vision for growing and enduring success. I look forward to building on Rogue’s pedigree as a primary destination for excellence and established, top-level directors, as well as a nurturing home for the new generation of raw, emerging talent.”

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