McCann looks to Germany for strategy chief

Karl Bates and Ashley Farr

The personnel overhaul at new-look McCann has continued with the drafting of a new strategy chief from an agency in Germany.

McCann’s strategic offering will be headed up by Karl Bates from Saatchi & Saatchi Germany, who takes over from Ashley Farr.

Farr has been running the agency’s planning department during the search for a strategy head, and will now focus on his role as MD of McCann Sydney.

Bates is the latest in a string of signings at McCann, which merged with Smart in a reverse take-over last year, and is now led by former Smart boss Ben Lilley.

Before his time at Saatchi & Saatchi in Germany, Bates worked at Saatchi’s and Grey in London. He was also a founding member of German independent agency D-Office. He’s worked with clients including Deutsche Bank, Sony Ericsson, T-Mobile, Toyota, General Mills and Guinness.

Farr said: “It was an extensive and exhaustive global search but when I met Karl, I knew he was the right person with the right passion, experience and work we need at the new McCann. To match the world-class clients we have, it is important that the new McCann attracts world-class talent. Karl is just that and a great addition to team. I am secure in the knowledge that Karl and his team will lead the strategic planning discipline to a new level.”

Bates added: “I’m absolutely delighted to be here, joining the team for such an important phase at McCann. It’s an honour to be a part of such an iconic brand steeped in a history of such iconic advertising and working on a client list that’s to die for. There is a legacy of brilliant strategic thinking here and moving forward this will be at the heart of the transformation process, shaping the McCann of tomorrow.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.