News

Andy Greenaway leaves Sapient Nitro, joins Dentsu Singapore as ECD

Andy GreenawayAndy Greenaway, one of the region’s most notable creative directors, has left Sapient Nitro after three and a half years running the creative department across Asia Pacific.

Greenaway was APAC ECD of the tech-meets-creative agency, and has joined Dentsu Singapore as executive creative director, and will report to the network’s APAC creative head Ted Lim, Campaign Brief Asia has reported. He fills a role vacated by Ng Heok Seong, who left Dentsu in March and joined McCann Malaysia.

Dick van Motman, Southeast CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network, told Mumbrella that Greenaway fits with the ambition to “create lighthouses” within the network, with Singapore the latest in a series of lighthouses to emerge from acquisitions, restructuring and hiring in the Philippines, Malaysia and Australia.

Greenaway’s departure emerges in the same week that news broke that Bruce Matchett, Sapient Nitro’s regional creative director, had left and move to Australian agency Banjo.

Kim Douglas, VP and MD, Southeast Asia, for Sapient Nitro, told Mumbrella this afternoon that Greenaway had played a key role in transforming Sapient Nitro from essentially an IT consultancy into a fully-fledged marketing and tech agency business, and had brought key creative talent into the network, including KV ‘Pops’ Sridhar to lead the creative team in India and Claire Waring to run Southeast Asia.

For a time, Greenaway was running the Singapore operation as well as performing the regional ECD role, and early on had helped shape the network in China and India, and the Australian operation to scale, Douglas noted.

However, after that job had been completed, and since the formation of Publicis Groupe’s new tech and digital arm Publicis Sapient at the start of the year, with Sapient Nitro merging with Razorfish, the agency’s strategy has shifted. The focus is now more on “experience-driven design work and digital transformation and less in the marketing narrative space,” Douglas commented. “Andy’s role had run its path.”

Over a distinguished, colourful career, Greenaway was a consistent figure on top of the Campaign Brief Asia Creative Rankings, which ranked creatives by their awards tallies. In 2008, while at Saatchi’s, in what was taken to be a statement against the industry’s obsession with awards, Greenaway upset the publisher of the popular rankings by inventing a creative who featured on credits called Roger Makak.

Greenaway admitted to creating the character, whose supplied picture was of a young Asian man with a monkey in the background, but who turned out to be the agency’s toy mascot.

Greenaway moved to Singapore with Ogilvy in 1991, as ECD of OgilvyOne Singapore, and after a stint as ECD in Hong Kong, returned to Singapore as ECD of Ogilvy Advertising.

In a frank video interview with Mumbrella in July 2014, Greenaway spoke out about scam ads, which he described as a “monster that needs to be fed.”

In an earlier interview in 2013, not long after he’d joined Sapient, Greenaway gave a candid assessment of the state of creativity in Asia.

“The silo mentality in agencies is what is holding back creativity,” he said in the interview. “The barriers need to be broken down, and communications brought together in a seamless way. Only then will we see the end of small, scammy campaigns. It will be clients who buy big marketing campaigns who really make a difference.

“The future is in content – that’s the next big wave coming our way,” he said.

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