Former Clems Sydney duo Josh Aitken and Willy Maitland follow Ben Coulson to McCann

McCann is continuing to build out its creative team in Sydney, bringing duo Josh Aitken and Willy Maitland on board as creative directors.

The pair have previously worked with McCann Sydney’s chief creative officer Ben Coulson at Clemenger BBDO Sydney. Coulson made the move to McCann in June last year, meanwhile Aitken joins directly from the agency and Maitland comes after a year at AnalogFolk following his departure from Clemenger Sydney.

Josh Aitken and Willy Maitland have joined McCann Sydney

Aitken and Maitland said in a statement that they would follow Coulson anywhere.

“We’d probably take a job at Blockbuster Video if it meant working with Coulson again. Luckily, unlike Blockbuster, McCann and Hero Group are developing a creatively-driven business that’s vibrant and a little weird. We’re excited to be part of this,” they said.

It has almost been a year since former CEO, Ben Lilley, acquired McCann Worldgroup Australia, and in that time McCann Sydney has been on a hiring spree. Coulson was appointed to replace Darren Spiller, Roshni Hegerman was hired as executive strategy director after chief strategy officer Fran Clayton returned to DDB Sydney, and Simon Gawn has joined as client services director.

Aitken and Maitland have worked on campaigns for V Energy, Tourism Australia and Hungry Jacks. Their work has been awarded at Cannes, D&AD, The Webbys, Effies, AWARD Awards, Caples, New York Festival and Spikes. At McCann Sydney they will lead creative output for Mastercard, Coca Cola, Ebay, Microsoft and Menulog.

Coulson said: “Josh and Willy are ace. As professionals and as people. They’re not quite normal, in a very good way. I think they’ll fit right in. Welcome guys, hope it’s a great gig for you.”

McCann Worldgroup Australia is now part of Lilley’s Hero network of independent agencies. Since the acquisition of McCann, Lilley has also acquired the assets of creative and content agency Red Engine SCC and rolled it into The Red Republic, brought on production company Engine Room Productions, rebooted Smart, bought Brisbane agency JSA Creative – which was absorbed into McCann Brisbane – and purchased data and technology developer B.B.E.


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