Chris Willingham joins BBDO to lead regional Visa business



Ad agency BBDO has bolstered its Asia Pacific management line-up with the hire of Chris Willingham as regional business director.

He joins from Starcount, a Singapore-based data science firm where he was CEO, and will run the Visa business. He also has a brief to expand the agency’s regional capabilities.

The appointment marks a return to BBDO for Willingham, who consulted to the agency for a short stint last year, working on the now-departed SingTel account. He worked on the award-winning Hawker Heroes campaign featuring celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

Jean-Paul Burge, president of BBDO Southeast Asia and CEO Singapore said: “I’ve wanted to work with Chris for some time. He is a great all-rounder that brings with him a wealth of experience and an unwavering focus on creating great work. We are constantly looking for the best people to build on our creative and effectiveness success and in Chris I believe we have found the very best”.

Over a 20-year career, Willingham worked at Fallon in London, during which time the agency created some of the most famous TV work to emerge from the UK in recent times, ‘Gorilla’ for Cadbury and ‘Balls’ for Sony Bravia.

In his earlier career, he worked at account director level at Grey and TBWA in London. He started out in advertising at Saatchi & Saatchi.

Willingham added: “I’m very excited to be joining BBDO at such a pivotal time. The team across Asia is highly ambitious and I look forward to working with them, and a very impressive group of clients, to deliver ground-breaking ideas that solve real business problems.”


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