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PwC adds former OMD, Leo Burnett and M&C Saatchi staff to grow CMO Advisory

PwC has taken the next big step in the growth of its CMO Advisory business, luring senior strategy and innovation leaders from OMD, Leo Burnett and M&C Saatchi as it continues to push into the marketing consultancy space.

Ben Shepherd leaving OMD after three years

OMD head of strategy and innovation Ben Shepherd announced his departure from the agency to join PwC this week and will join former Leo Burnett strategy director TC Miles and M&C Saatchi strategy director Nicky Bryson, who both joined PwC quietly earlier this year.

Nicky Bryson, ex M&C Saatchi

Justin Papps, head of PwC CMO Advisory, said the hires would help the business continue to build momentum after naming former adman and TV executive Russel Howcroft as chief creative officer last year.

“Building the best team to respond to our clients’ most challenging marketing questions means that we have created a strong, experienced group of marketing professionals who can provide measured, strategic and pragmatic advice to the c-suite regarding the power of marketing,” Papps said.

“We have been fortunate in that we’ve had many people approach us wanting to join, giving us the pick of a very rich talent pool. It is exciting when you have some of the industry’s brightest people saying they want to be part of what we are doing.”

Shepherd, the former commercial director of Sound Alliance (now Junkee Media), joined OMD in 2014 as head of digital before also assuming the strategy and innovation role in May last year.

Shepherd told Mumbrella he was proud to have play an important role at the agency during a time of change.

“I was lucky enough to play a small role in an offering in Melbourne which doubled in size over the past three years and has balanced strong commercial success with positive client outcomes and network high staff satisfaction,” Shepherd said.

“I am grateful to OMD and Margie Reid for giving me that opportunity.”

In his new role at PwC he will will lead the Media Investment and Planning discipline across the CMO Advisory business

TC Miles, ex-Leo Burnett

Papps said Miles and Bryson would also bring clear strategic thinking to PwC’s offer.

The trickle of advertising and media industry talent to consultancies is turing into a torrent with news of Shepherd’s move coming just two weeks after PwC rival Deloitte announced it had recruited Ten Network chief brand officer Matt McGrath as is new CMO.

Just days ago KPMG Australia launched its new specialist Customer, Brand & Marketing advisory venture, following the acquisition of Acquity Research and Insights. The new division will be spearheaded by former trade union official Paul Howes, who revealed the consultancy was already on the hunt for more acquisitions and was looking to poach more top talent.

On top of PwC’s recruitment of the high-profile Howcroft as chief creative officer in December last year, other major moves by consultancies have included the acquisition of creative agency The Monkeys by Accenture and Deloitte’s investment in , marketing platform specialists Cinder and digital communication studio The Explainers last year.

OMD CEO Aimee Buchanan said that Shepherd had played an important role in the Melbourne agency and that search was now on for a replacement.

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