Leading experiential agency WRG has appointed renowned ad agency boss Russ Lidstone as its new CEO, with plans to steer the business into a new era of communications.
Lidstone’s pedigree in strategy and leadership will strengthen WRG’s capability to create unforgettable experiences for some of the world’s most recognisable brands. Clients include Shell, adidas and Google, as well as a number of leading healthcare companies.
He brings a wealth of experience from the agency world – credited with instigating market-leading integration of digital, PR & advertising during his six-year tenure as CEO of ad agency Havas Worldwide, also evolving its social, SEO and channel capabilities.
WRG said Lidstone’s background will be instrumental in making sure it remains at the cutting edge of experiential communications.
Ian Plummer, Chairman of WRG, said: “WRG prides itself on staying ahead of the curve in the ever-changing, fast-paced world of comms. Our priority is finding the most innovative, exciting ways to engage audiences for our clients.
“We believe Russ is the right person to lead us onto the next level. He has an enviable track record and brings not just the experience of running an international agency and leading blue chip organisations, but a genuine enthusiasm and ambition to WRG; the sort that will appeal to existing clients and a whole host of new brands and businesses that are looking for gold-standard comms.”
Russ Lidstone said: “I’ve been an admirer of WRG and the way it works for some time now. It not only has a team of people across the world who are at the top of their game, but produces consistently great work for clients.
“It’s a privilege to take the reins in what for me is the dream job at such an incredibly exciting time in the experiential industry, with more brands now looking towards using immersive creativity to drive engagement. The work WRG is already doing in this space as well as its plans to innovate, is breaking down the walls of traditional comms.
“I look forward to helping WRG build strategically innovative, commercially focused and creatively brilliant ideas- bringing together live, creative, content, and digital.”
Lidstone will divide his time between WRG’s headquarters in Manchester, its London office and its operations in Hong Kong, Philadelphia and Basel.
He takes over from David Sharrock, who continues in his post as the COO and CFO.
Lidstone added: “My priority in the first few weeks will be to listen, meet as many of WRG’s existing clients and to visit our key offices in Asia, the US and Europe, as well as exploring new client opportunities.”
Lidstone is a member of the Marketing Group of Great Britain (MGGB), a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), a non-executive director of Basketball England and a Tech London Advocate. He also won the accolade of Media Employer of the Year while at Havas - his biggest point of personal pride.