Jason Williams is stepping into a newly created regional role as head of creative excellence at Publicis Groupe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APAC & MEA). He will report to Natalie Lam, chief creative officer at Publicis Groupe, APAC & MEA.
This shift recognizes Williams’ contribution to Leo Burnett Australia over the past 15 years, where he is currently chief creative officer. The agency recently won the Innovation Lions Grand Prix at Cannes Lions 2022 along with Silver and Bronze Lions for “One House to Save Many”--a transformative platform for Suncorp Group.
Meanwhile Andy Fergusson is also being promoted to the role of national executive creative director at Leo Burnett Australia, with responsibility for the creative product across Sydney and Melbourne. He joined Leo Burnett Sydney in 2020 and has been instrumental in the agency’s new business and creative wins, including the launch of “Feel New” for Destination NSW and the aforementioned Suncorp campaign, “One House to Save Many.”
As head of creative excellence for Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA, Williams will focus on elevating the creative output of the Groupe’s most significant and ambitious clients. He will continue to collaborate with Publicis Groupe Australia, bolstering the creative firepower of each market in APAC & MEA by connecting creatives, technology, media and data experts to global brands and opportunities.
Williams said, “When Natalie first mentioned the possibility of moving into a role that champions creative bravery and business changing ideas across 60+ agency brands, it seemed too good to be true. The chance to unite the Groupe’s most ambitious clients with a squad of creatives, future-thinkers and makers, while still staying connected to the Leo Burnett family--it’s a dream role for me.”
Together with a regional team led by Lam, Williams will contribute to initiatives that connect, inspire and strengthen the creative community, from monthly creative sessions to mentoring programs and inspiration sessions. As a co-founder of the YoungGuns International Awards, Williams is passionate about developing creative future leaders, and will contribute to new talent initiatives as new needs and gaps are identified.
Fergusson will work closely with Emma Montgomery, CEO at Leo Burnett Australia, and Catherine King, chief strategy officer, Leo Burnett Australia, to lead the agency’s growth.
Prior to joining Leo Burnett Sydney, Fergusson led accounts across the U.S., Asia and Australia during a 10-year stint at Droga5.
Fergusson said, “I’m beyond excited about the opportunity to help shape the future of Leo Burnett in Australia, alongside Emma and Cath. We have such great creative momentum right now across both offices. And with a bunch of truly ambitious clients, and a really strong talent pool, I think we are well placed to continue that momentum. Jason leaves us with a strong culture of creative consistency, and I look forward to building on that. We wish him nothing but the best as he steps up to bigger and better things in the Groupe.”
Williams and Fergusson step into their new roles this month.