PHD hires M&C Saatchi’s Anna Cherry as head of strategy

Omnicom-owned media agency PHD has appointed M&C Saatchi’s Anna Cherry as its head of strategy.

PHD’s new appointments: Luciana Slade and Anna Cherry

The newly created role will “ensure strategic and creative thinking continues to sit at the heart of PHD”, a statement from the agency said.

Cherry will sit on the agency’s leadership team, reporting to chief strategy officer Stewart Gurney, and will “be charged with championing the strategic function for the Melbourne office, working closely with the wider national strategy team to challenge the status quo”.

Of the appointment, Cherry said: “I’m thrilled to be joining an agency that shares my passion for developing strategic insights, tools and ideas; to inspire and produce famously effective work that drives growth for brands. I was impressed and inspired by PHD’s culture that empowers staff to challenge the status quo, that they embrace the psychology of how people make decisions as well as their ability to execute advanced thinking, flawlessly.”

The agency also announced Luciana Slade will be joining PHD Melbourne as business director for ANZ. Slade replaces Kathryn Weatherlake who has been promoted to group business director working across brands including Priceline and Bakers Delight. Slade has worked agency side across auto, FMCG and finance both locally and overseas.

Slade said she was pleased to be joining one of Australia’s fastest-growing agencies.

Group business director Simon Lawson said: “Having recently renewed our long-term contract with ANZ it is great that we can bring in fresh new talent to continue to deliver innovative and forward thinking ideas for ANZ, we are extremely excited for Lucinda to join us. We have a lot of strategic thinkers at PHD Melbourne, it is in our DNA, but having an assigned resource dedicated to driving this agenda is going to be hugely beneficial.”

The hires cap off a busy 24 hours for media agency appointments, departures and announcements. Last night, M&C Saatchi announced UM’s chief strategy officer would Sophie Price was coming on board as group head of strategy.

Following the announcement, UM revealed Sam Geer, the agency’s Sydney strategy director would replace Price and take up the role of national strategy officer. Geer, in turn, will be replaced by Chris Colter.

This morning, Blue 449 announced Leo Burnett’s media director Stuart Capel has been hired as client partner for the 20th Century Fox business, which the agency won from Publicis Media stablemate Zenith in February after rebranding from Match Media earlier this year.

Overnight, WPP announced GroupM would reduce its media agency portfolio to three with Maxus and MEC to merge to form an as-yet-unnamed agency which will sit alongside the group’s other agencies Mediacom and Mindshare.


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