VIRTUE, the Cannes Lions award-winning creative agency born out of VICE, has appointed Morten Grubak as its new executive creative director for Northern Europe. Morten will be responsible for the creative direction for VIRTUE in the UK and the Nordics.
Previously creative director for VIRTUE Nordics, Morten spent the past four years leading the agency to become the third most awarded in the region. A recent sign of his teams’ success are the eight Cannes Lions his team brought home. The team won four Lions (including a Grand Prix in Digital Craft) for its adDRESS_THE_FUTURE work with Scandinavian retailer Carlings and a Glass Lion and three Bronze Lions for ‘Q’ the world's first Genderless Voice. Morten will continue creating thought-provoking work for brands such as Pandora, Malibu and Topshop Topman on a wider scale.
Morten started his career as a graphic designer 15 years ago, after which he soon became art director for brands such as Porsche, Lexus, Bentley, LEGO, and Carlsberg. Additionally, Morten co-founded Sky.Garden; a phone-based e-commerce platform allowing African women to get around the archaic laws keeping them from owning businesses. Sky.Garden was honored as Start-Up of the Year 2018 by the Danish Digital Association.
Morten has held jury positions at various awards such as Creative Circle, The Danish Internet Awards, New York Festival (Grand Jury) and the Webby Awards. He was Denmark's representative in Young Lions and has attained various international accolades and awards for his work since.
As VIRTUE is one of the fastest growing parts of the VICE business, regional creative hubs have been set-up in London, Amsterdam, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Berlin. With London servicing as the Northern-European hub, Gemma Knox - previously general manager UK - has been promoted to managing director Northern Europe. Gemma has over 14 years of brand and communication experience across Europe and has worked in both large networks and small independent companies in London and Amsterdam. Additionally, VIRTUE has increased its strategic power with Caroline Collinson-Jones as chief strategy officer, international. Caroline has been working as a strategist for agencies such as Wieden + Kennedy, Anomaly, BETC and with brands such as Lurpak, Tate, John Lewis, Diet Coke, Topshop, for the past 15 years.
Rob Newlan, CEO of VIRTUE EMEA and APAC, says: “Morten has been instrumental in turning around VIRTUE from a content production extension of the main VICE brand into an independent, conceptual powerhouse. Translating the unique VICE perspective into creative ideas with the power to not just capture the world – but pull it towards our progressive point of view. In his role as executive creative director for VIRTUE Northern Europe, he is a great addition to the new Northern Europe leadership team and I am certain it will lead to even more great work down the road.”
Morten added: “I’m incredibly proud of what my team has accomplished recently. From the numerous awards we’ve won for Q, the first genderless voice, to the campaign for Carlings, we’ve proven we’re an agency that can make a mark in the industry. Now, it’s time to do this on a wider scale in our other territories in Northern Europe. I’m incredibly excited to start working with so many creative people from different countries and am looking forward to seeing what creative ideas we’ll come up with as one international team.”