Moving forward, the group will be reorganised into three: I&S BBDO, BBDO J West and the newly-created BBDO Japan.
Tony Harris, formerly CEO of BBDO Guerrero in the Philippines, will be joining BBDO Japan as its new chief executive. He will report to Kazutoyo Kato, president of the I&S BBDO Group and Chris Thomas, chairman of I&S BBDO Group and CEO of the Americas, who will continue in their roles.
Based in Tokyo, BBDO Japan will be responsible for managing BBDO’s existing global accounts, as well as assisting those Japanese clients seeking access to BBDO’s global capabilities. It will act as a complementary offering to I&S BBDO, which services Japan’s domestic client base, and BBDO J West, based in Kyushu, which predominantly looks after clients in West Japan. It will also house Proximity Japan.
Both I&S BBDO and BBDO J West have experienced recent success, with new business wins and growth of existing clients. The agencies also have a strong awards track record with Gold wins at Cannes, Spikes and the Appies over the past few years. In addition, Masaki Honda and Tatsuo Ueno have been recognised by the JAAA as ‘Creators of the Year’.
“The establishment of this new organisation will strengthen our ability to service our global businesses and to handle creative platforms brought in from around the world. And in Tony, we have a leader with a proven reputation of what it takes to establish a successful BBDO office and who is passionate about great work,” said Thomas.
For the past four years, Harris has held the position of chief executive at BBDO Guerrero. Together with his partner David Guerrero, CCO of BBDO Guerrero, they have led the agency to numerous achievements including being named Philippines 4As Agency of the Year and Campaign Asia Philippines Creative Agency of the Year. BBDO Guerrero also became the first Philippine agency to enter the Gunn Report World Top 50 and was listed as one the world’s Top 20 Smartest Agencies by WARC. Previously, Harris had been deputy chairman at RKCR/Y&R in London where he was voted one of Campaign’s top 10 account men.
Kazutoyo Kato said, “We are always looking at new ways to enhance our client offering and we are very deliberately setting out to create a variety of working models for our clients that will more usefully reflect their requirements in this rapidly changing marketing landscape. BBDO Japan will present an agile and forward-facing structure for our clients.”
At BBDO Guerrero, Harris will be succeeded by Francine Kahn-Gonzalez, managing director of the agency. Harris assumes his new role immediately.