paris 2024

What Are Agency Leaders Most Looking Forward To In 2024?

As a new year begins, we caught up with agency chiefs to find out what they hope 2024 has in store

By creative salon

New year, new me - or so the (recent) legend says. 2023 was filled with everything from the AI boom to political controversies, but now a new calendar year is upon us. An election, the Olympics and the Euros are but some of the few events that will impact Brits in the next 52 weeks.

How will these topics and other new developments shape culture in 2024? And more specifically, how will the advertising industry adapt to appeal to an ever-changing 21s-century consumer? Whatsmore, what are agencies excited for in the 12 months to follow? We caught up with some agency leaders to find out.

2024 - the year of change

This year will be full of talking points, both expected and unexpected, whether they be political, social or even entertainment related.

Fiona Gordon, CEO at Ogilvy UK feels: “With an election year, the Olympics and Euro's (Scotland is at the Euro's this time too!), there are lots of opportunities to bring people together and be culturally relevant.”

Alex Lewis, co-founder of Revolt, also believes that 2024 will be a year of “immense change”. He adds: “More people on planet Earth are voting in democratic elections next year than ever before. There’s going to be all sorts of cultural fallout as campaigning ramps up, plenty of hot takes on which way the political winds are blowing, and even the possibility that 2024 might be the year of peak greenhouse gas emissions.” In such a time, ad campaigns will have to be effective, and subsequently Revolt will also release a report focused on impact measurement. “We believe this is the missing link needed to execute purpose with increasing effectiveness year on year.”

With regards to research that may help navigate such an eventful 12 months, Kate Rowlinson, CEO at EssenceMediacom, is excited to share new findings with the agency’s clients and the industry around a new take on the impact of different media channels.

Raising the bar for creative work

Many agency leaders are eager to see their creative businesses flourish in the form of work, continuing to strive for higher creative standards.

Gareth Mercer, founder of Pablo, wants to “push the boundaries again and hit the next level with consistency.” He adds: “We have some fantastic stuff in development. We can't wait for the world to clap eyes on it and see how it responds.”

Carly Avener, CEO at Leo Burnett, looks forward to producing “more amazing populist work and for us to continue to build momentum”. She adds: “We’ve got work launching for some of our newest clients; Allwyn and and I’m looking forward to see our new design studio, POPDesign, really take off.”

Alongside “enjoying the journey”, Miranda Hipwell, CEO at adam&eveDDB, also hopes to continue to evolve, “creating big, famous, differently shaped ideas that are effective for our clients”.

Claire Hollands, CEO at Mullen Lowe, is excited to hit the ground running, shifting the dial on the agency’s work. “We have some exciting work in the pipeline for next year. Watch this space,” she adds.

Simply put, Jason Cobbold, CEO at BMB, expects “renewed optimism and an appetite all round for innovation”. James Denton-Clark, CEO at Saatchi & Saatchi, also longs to “continue the momentum and build the buzz”. Carmen Vasile, managing director at AMV BBDO, looks forward to seeing “all the brilliant ideas in our Wall live in the world”. Katie Elliott, managing director at Mother London, also looks forward to: “More of the same. It’s exciting.”

More specifically, Michael Lee, chief strategy officer at VCCP, is eager to produce the agency’s first piece of work for recently won client Allwyn - who are taking over the licence for The National Lottery. Lee adds: “We love our fabric of the nation brands and The National Lottery is definitely one of the best out there.”

Insisting that she always answers the ‘what are you most looking forward to’ question in the same way, Larissa Vince, CEO at TBWA\London, answered: “Making exciting, innovative, business-changing creative work is the whole reason we exist, and it’s still the most motivating thing for everyone in the business, from the IT technician to the CCO.”

Leaders of some of the most renowned agencies in the world also hope that 2024 involves work that continues to bolster relationships with the world’s biggest brands.

Jessica Tamsedge, CEO at Dentsu Creative, is excited by the prospect of “more firsts with our incredible partners, including Hilton following our Vegas launch in partnership with F1, Waitrose following our first live cooking school and Mondelez following our global live Big Dunk for Oreo.”

Accenture Song UK’s co-chiefs, Will Hodge and Zoe Eagle, also affirm that their agency is “here and ready for whatever 2024 has in store”. They add: “The things we’re most excited about are the big client challenges we’ll be facing, the solutions we haven’t yet imagined, the new and wonderful ways we’re going to apply the myriad of skills and technologies to our clients’ businesses with sharp clarity and creativity.”

BBH’s CEO Karen Martin also feels 2024 will have “more creativity, more zagging, more difference, more belly laughs, more conversations sparked, more human truths unearthed and conventions challenged, more ‘how did they get away with thats?!’, more wins, more doing what we love with the people and brands we love.”

Guy Sellers, CEO at Total Media, also says: “We’ve welcomed some incredible new clients into our agency this year with some of the campaigns kicking off in the new year, so I am excited to see this work come to life and to further embed them into our fantastic portfolio of clients.”

Internal growth

For many adland bosses, the next 52 weeks will include a focus on the growth of talent and business, an evermore important topic given the increase in demand for fast and snappy marketing and the saturation of the agency landscape. There’s no doubt creativity will continue to hold even more value in 2024.

Sarah Golding, CEO at The&Partnership, is excited to fulfil the agency’s promises, ambitions and goals. She adds: “Our focus is on producing exceptional and unforgettable work that sets the standard for quality. We are prioritising the growth and development of our people by investing in AI training and integrating it into our best practices, as well as developing our innovative &model and implementing it across new platforms. 

“Additionally, we are expanding The&Academy with the introduction of our content management apprenticeship and content creator programmes, and continuing to invest in High Viz Creatives, our program that supports under-represented creative voices. We’re so excited to see what the next generation of our industry can do.”

Conrad Persons, Grey London’s new president, feels that the agency’s internal positioning ‘Famously Effective’ will gain “new resonance and meaning in London and beyond in 2024”. On a personal level, Persons is also eager to enjoy his first full year at the helm of Grey London, helping to continue growing the agency. He adds: “I have a full leadership team, incredible creative partners, and a vision that allows me to leverage all my hard-won lessons as an entrepreneur. I have a deep partnership with our global leadership. And I have what every founder or president wants: a group of people fiercely committed to a mission.”

For Polly McMorrow, CEO at McCann London, 2024 will be about making McCann “feared and revered again”. She adds: “I believe we’ve now got the best crew in the business, I’m excited by what we can achieve together in 2024.”

Katy Wright, CEO at FCB London, is also most looking forward to “bouncing off the springboard” the agency created in 2023.

MSQ and its CEO Peter Reid are focused on international expansion. “We stated publicly when the OEP acquisition was announced that the deal will help us accelerate our international expansion and I see that being a big and exciting part of 2024,” Reid adds. “Particularly in the US and mainland Europe, we have a massive opportunity to scale and further build out our collaborative model (we’ll be opening a new and improved hub in New York next year).

“We truly believe that we can be seen around the world as a genuine alternative to the big holding companies – a leading end-to-end international creative, media and technology group that services the largest clients in the world – and our moves next year are going to be important in achieving that.”

Separately, Neil Henderson, CEO at St Luke’s, is eager to see the agency’s female leadership team take on more responsibility. He adds: “We have an amazing complement of female talent who are now moving into serious management positions. They will be changing the shape of our proposition and the way we do business in 2024.”

Atomic CEO Jon Goulding believes that foundations have been laid at the agency to ensure a “brilliant start” to 2024. “We have an extremely healthy new business pipeline and clear growth focus,” he adds. “Our offer is resonating strongly with prospects and clients, adding weight to our ability to build brands in the age of performance. We’re also attracting some great talent and will soon be announcing our new strategic lead from one of the industry’s best creative shops.”

Larissa Vince, CEO at TBWA\London, is also looking forward to meeting and working with new talent. She affirms: “Another great thing about agency life is that you can continually be stimulated and have your mind opened by new and differently smart people. Diversity of thinking always makes the work better.”

The same goes for Bill Scott, CEO at Droga5, who is excited to see his new team continue to innovate this year. “The new foundations are laid and we're ready to get noisier,” Scott says. “Our momentum is building - we’ve got new clients, new talent and exciting new briefs in the system - so we’re looking forward to unveiling more new work that has kept us so busy in the last few months. It’s not every day you get to launch a new destination city for a client.”

As for Total Media, CEO Guy Sellers is eager to expand the agency’s offering and talent. He adds: “We have some really exciting plans for our behavioural consultancy, Behave, with us expanding our marketing consultancy offering and branching out into new areas in management consultancy, including AI and Purpose – so watch this space! The consultancy will also be continuing the work with our charity partner, Young Westminster Foundation, in helping them to deliver crucial work to reduce youth violence in the borough.

“Early in 2024, we will also be opening a new office in the centre of Birmingham for our midlands agency, Total Media Connect, which will certainly be a high point!”


LinkedIn iconx

Your Privacy

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. Please let us know if you agree to all of these cookies.