DDB Sydney’s Tara Ford moves to The Monkeys as chief creative officer

Chief creative officer of DDB Sydney, Tara Ford, is joining The Monkeys as CCO.

Ford will fill the void that will be left by Justin Drape, who announced his departure from the agency he co-founded and built, almost two weeks ago.

Tara Ford is joining The Monkeys as CCO

Ford joined DDB Sydney in 2017 from TBWA Melbourne and has worked in agencies across Amsterdam, London, Melbourne and Sydney.

She spent two years as executive creative director, being promoted to chief creative officer in 2019 at the same time CCO Ben Welsh took on a national title, which made her the first female chief creative officer of a major Australian advertising agency.

Ford has lead the creative charge across DDB Sydney’s roster of blue-chip clients including McDonald’s,  Volkswagen and Westpac, with her work being recognised at Cannes, Spikes, AWARD Awards, and D&AD.

In a statement, Welsh wished Ford well.

“Tara is an exceptional creative and a natural leader,” he said.

“We thank her for everything she’s done during her time at DDB and we wish her all the best in her new role.”

Ford said: “I’m excited to be joining one of the best and most progressive advertising brands in the country. I have a huge amount of respect for what The Monkeys has achieved and I can’t wait to help lead and drive its creative product even further into the future.”

The Monkeys was acquired by Accenture Interactive in 2017 for a reported $63 million. Two years later its founders, Drape, Scott Nowell and Mark Green all took on additional roles within the consultancy – Green as the lead for Australia and New Zealand, and Drape and Nowell as co-chief creative officers for the group.

In the last year, the agency has brought in a slew of new business, including Super Retail Group’s Rebel and Supercheap Auto, the Australian Grand Prix, Memories, Audi, Tourism Western Australia. The new accounts joins The Monkeys roster of Asahi Premium Beverages, Australia Post, Meat and Livestock Australia, Qantas, Telstra and UBank.

Green noted Ford’s ‘prolific’ career in welcoming her to the agency.

“Tara is one of the most outstanding creative leaders in ANZ and this has been recognised far and wide. Notably, Tara was named Creative Person of The Year at the 2020 Campaign Asia Awards,” Green said.

“Besides that, Tara is a great personality and we are extremely pleased to welcome her to the team.”

The Monkeys group chief creative officer, Nowell, added: “Tara is an immense talent who makes the people around her better. We love her work, love how she goes about it, and look forward to seeing her bring that to The Monkeys.”

Ford will be commencing her role in April. At the announcement of his departure it was revealed that Drape will continue working with the agency through the transition period.


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