Exclusive: Weber Shandwick hires adland veteran as UK ECD


Back (pictured) will lead the agency’s creative capabilities in the UK, bringing together its conceptual, production and creative technology functions.

He will work in partnership with creative leads across EMEA, including James Nester, executive creative director, EMEA & Germany, who formerly oversaw creative in the UK.

Back has more than 20 years of experience in advertising and production, with roles including chief creative officer for Ogilvy Australia, Singapore and global; executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi Australia; and creative director at DDB.

Back’s previous work includes Toyota Border Security’s ‘Nothing soft gets in’, which is reportedly the most-awarded Toyota campaign of all time, as well as Tooheys ‘New beer economy’ and Coca-Cola’s ‘Hug machine’ (below).

According to his LinkedIn profile, Back had been creative director at BBC Creative since October 2019, where his work included creative lead on the launch of popular BBC One series Normal People.

“We are hugely excited about Steve joining the team – his passion for great work that drives conversation and engagement was evident from our very first meeting with him,” said Helen Bennett, managing director of Weber Shandwick London. “As client needs continue to change, we believe demand for powerful, earned creative ideas will only increase. In Steve, we know we’ve found someone with the proven talent, experience and instincts to help us meet that demand.”

Back said: “I believe strongly that the best ideas come from a simple truth or insight. I’m excited to be joining one of the world’s leading communications agencies at a time when we are seeing such extraordinary shifts in brands and business behaviour. Weber Shandwick London has an impressive range of talents, specialists and capabilities – I’m looking forward to partnering that talent to help deliver work that sets a new standard for earned creative.”

At the start of this year, Weber Shandwick shook up its London leadership team, with UK and Ireland chief executive Rachel Friend departing, Bennett leading its London office and Heather Blundell leading in Manchester.

The UK arm of the Interpublic network agency is ranked third in the PRWeek UK Top 150 Consultancies table for 2020, with estimated revenue of £63m in 2019, a rise of five per cent on the previous year.


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