Suzie Shaw joins We Are Social as David Fairfull opts to remain with agency



We Are Social has appointed former Host managing director Suzie Shaw as managing director, also revealing out-going managing partner David Fairfull has chosen to remain with the agency.

Shaw replaces Julian Ward who left the agency in mid-April.  She joins the agency after leaving Host in February after just over four years. Previously she was the client services director for TBWA London.

Speaking to Mumbrella We Are Social co-founder Nathan McDonald said: “One of the great things about Suzie is she has wide-ranging experience across integrated and creative agencies and at Host there was quite a focus on digital.

“At this stage of the development of We Are Social that kind of broader experience is really valuable because we see social permeating all aspects of the marketing mix.

“Understanding how social fits into the wider marketing mix is a valuable skill. The broadening of the offering of We Are Social as we start to see social play a different part in client’s businesses and in the marketing mix, having that leadership and experience across those different disciplines is really valuable to us.”

When asked about Shaw’s social experience, she currently has 49 Twitter followers, McDonald said the agency did not need additional specialist expertise.



“We have an agency of social specialists who are really passionate. It’s not like we need additional specialist expertise, what we need is leadership of the kind of calibre Suzie brings.

“Together we’ll be able to do things that we want to do faster then we would have been able to,” he added.

The appointment of Shaw does not signal a repositioning of We Are Social to broader creative agency, with McDonald saying that tag “comes with a bit of baggage”.

“In terms of positioning, We Are Social has been evolving since the day it launched,” he said.

“The social media landscape has changed quite radically over the years that we’ve been running the agency, as a continual part of that evolution, we still have social at the core and social thinking at the centre of what we do

we are social copy“But we think that social thinking can apply to all kinds of disciplines beyond the social media platforms. Our focus is on social rather than on social media, it’s an important distinction.

“Social as a concept for solving business problems or communication challenges can be applied to digital, creative, media – to all kinds of disciplines out there.

“We just call ourselves a global agency at the moment. The tag ‘creative agency’ comes with a bit of baggage. Of course we’re creative, of course we’re strategic but to throw our lot in with ‘creative agencies’ isn’t quite right for us.

“We’re a global agency that believes in social thinking, we’ve got experience across social media, but we’ve also got experience doing creative and strategic work.”

In a statement Shaw said: “Social is such an exciting space; it’s a real growth area and giving rise to new found creativity, so joining the agency that puts social thinking at the centre of their strategic and creative work is a great opportunity. I can’t wait to get stuck in.”



While it had been announced managing partner David Fairfull was set to join Society as managing director this month, Fairfull has opted to stay with We Are Social, focusing on Social CRM, the agency’s proprietary software platform for managing, distributing and measuring social and digital content.

An IPG Mediabrands spokesman confirmed Fairfull’s decision to not join Society, issuing the statement: “We confirm David Fairfull will not join Society. Going forward the business will continue to report to group commercial director Dan Johns, as it has done in the past.”

Commenting on Fairfull’s decision to remain with the agency McDonald said: “He’ll be part of the global team still and the part of the business he’s focusing on has a lot of synergy with the agency business. There’s some shared clients, as well as some stand-alone clients.

“We developed that software as a way of enhancing the agency service but it’s now got enough momentum that it’s a big enough part of the business for him to focus on.”

We Are Social clients include Netflix, Roadshow Films, Glad and Chux.

Miranda Ward


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