Ian Young is stepping down as chief executive of Irish International BBDO after 23 years in the job. He will not be leaving the agency however and will now take over as executive chairman. The agency has announced that Neal Davies will become its new chief executive.
Davies joins Irish International BBDO in August, having served as president and CEO of Effie Worldwide which is headquartered in New York and with a background of senior positions in international advertising agencies Naked Communications and TBWA. Effie Worldwide is the pre-eminent global awards and education initiative for the marketing communications industry.
“In an ever-evolving world, I believe that Neal will make a significant contribution to every facet of our capability and in turn to our clients’ brands and businesses” said Ian Young. “Neal has a depth of experience and a global perspective. He will undoubtedly add a new and exciting dynamic to our talented team at II. Neal takes up the role in just over three months and we have the time and space to ensure a seamless transition.”
“I am looking forward to embracing the opportunity to lead Irish International BBDO following its years of success under Ian’s baton,” said Neal Davies. “Together with his many colleagues, Ian has built a formidable agency with a strong and diverse client portfolio and a great track record of delivery. His are big shoes to fill but I’m excited by the challenge.”
“Over 23 years of leadership, Ian has established a high standard for our clients and our people. This demanded that we took time to attract the very best talent that we could find to succeed him. This, we feel, we have achieved,” said St. John Walshe, Managing Director of BBDO Europe.
“Neal has ‘The Work, The Work, The Work‘ in his blood. From leading the development of the celebrated “Double Life” work for Playstation to running Absolut in its creative heyday, he has a creative ambition second to none. His career since has demonstrated that he understands what clients need and how to deliver it. I cannot wait to see the blending of Ian’s knowledge and innate understanding of the Irish communications landscape, combined with the global perspective and culture of innovation that Neal brings.”
During his three year tenure as President and CEO of Effie Worldwide, Davies developed and expanded the industry forum in a substantive manner extending its international reach. He reported to a board comprising senior marketing management for the world’s leading brands as well as the CEOs of the leading global advertising agencies. Previously, he was a Founding Partner at Naked Communications, the creative marketing and brand agency, with responsibility for leading the New York office. Prior to Naked, Neal worked as worldwide managing director at TBWA Worldwide and in that role was global lead on Absolut Vodka, the agency’s flagship creative account. Neal has also a depth of experience on the client side having worked in marketing roles in Kodak in the UK during the nineties. Neal, who hails from Durham in England, moved to America in 1999.
Irish International BBDO was established in 1966 and has played an influential role in the evolution of the Irish advertising industry since then. The agency has won many domestic and international awards for its work for clients such as Guinness, Glanbia, Barry’s Tea, EBS, Mars, Virgin Media, the Road Safety Authority, the IDA and the HSE. It is a member of the advisory team working with the IRFU on the Rugby World Cup 2023 bid.
The agency employs 75 people and had turnover of €19 million in 2016. It also holds a 50% stake in Omnicom Media Group and is part of BBDO Worldwide, the global network with operations in 81 countries.