Michael Knox replaces Ant Shannon as Grey Group’s ECD

Grey Melbourne has replaced outgoing executive creative director Ant Shannon, who resigned last month, with Ogilvy Melbourne’s ECD Michael Knox, Mumbrella can reveal.

Knox calls time on nine and a half years at the fellow WPP agency, and is reunited with Grey’s managing partner Luke Waldren, with whom he previously worked at Badjar Ogilvy.

He said: “You’d be a fool not to have a tremendous amount of respect for the work Grey has produced over many years. To be working with Nigel [Dawson, creative director], Pete [Becker, head of art] and in fact the whole crew at Grey is an exciting prospect.  And to be back working with Luke, who places huge value on ideas and chasing opportunities is terrific.”

Knox’s career also includes a seven-year stint at Clemenger BBDO and five years at Singleton Ogilvy & Mather.

Andrew Baxter, CEO of Ogilvy Melbourne, commented: “Michael has been with Ogilvy Melbourne for more than nine years, and goes with our best wishes. We will be making an announcement about his replacement in the near future.”

The hire is part of a restructure at Grey Melbourne that started a year ago when executive chairman and CEO, Paul Gardner, placed Luke Waldren in charge of their Melbourne office as managing partner in April 2010.

Gardner said: “We’ve had a terrific team in place at Grey for many years and it was simply time to evolve and to add to our offer to meet new demands and challenges.  Part of that is building a new digital offer, which we can now proudly say is well established and winning new assignments.”

Waldren also commented that digital is a key focus for the agency. “To my knowledge, when it comes to digital, there aren’t many (or any) creative agencies that have gone to the level of housing media based digital channel planners and strategists. Creative agencies tend to focus just on the shiny parts of digital, whereas we believe there’s a huge gap in the paid space too and clients are demanding it from creative agencies more every day.”

“All agency leaders must ask themselves, ‘how are we different?’.  It’s a question we ask ourselves every day,” he added.


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