‘Looking ahead to 2019, W+K are tentatively looking to meet Planning Directors’.
Ben would like to have a shortlist ready and waiting for the moment he does need to move to hire. Firmly speculative for now.

LIZH will make a small number of introductions, and because the aim is to ‘build a bench’ will work to challenge convention, bring some slightly different experience profiles to the mix for Ben to explore whether such Strategy experience and capability would be progressive additions to the team.

Start date: During 2019

Proposed ideas:


David heads up Strategy at Great State (formerly London Strategy Unit). We thought David would be interesting to have on your radar there as David has, through his time at LSU, had extensive experience leading upstream brand/business strategy projects, most recently with the founder and leadership team of Deliveroo. Their work is creatively led, works to unlock opportunities and/or solve specific problems and then often comes down to setting a direction for the brand to then work with a creative agency. 

David has really flourished working with Matt Boffey the founder of LSU (and former W+Ker) for the last few years. He’s made that subtle transition from being a top end planner at places like W+K, Dare and Anomaly to leading big meaty C-Suite run Strategic projects for well regarded brands. David remembers you Ben from your brief time at Dare prior to you heading for W+K Amsterdam and he to Anomaly.

David now feels like it’s time for change. LSU merged with a digital production company to form Great State. They’e reached their earn out so now David feels its a good time to consider a new environment. 

He and I were talking about what’s happening out there plus where he could and would wish to apply his rounded experience next. Having had a few conversations he’s most excited about coming back into the creative agency world but now with the ability to bring all of his strategy consulting experience.

With W+K being a creative agency David still admires hugely, and remembers fondly from his early career, he’d be interested in saying hello and putting himself on your radar there.

David very much fits that rare profile we discussed Ben of someone able to add value beyond the core skillset at W+K (in upstream brand consulting) while able to hit the ground running in leading current client creative strategy.

LinkedIn profile here and a top line CV here.

David’s salary expectations would be around £120k.
His notice period is 3 months


Wybe is a Strategy Director we’ve been following for some time now, going back to the award winning work he lead strategy on for KLM while at Amsterdam digital agency Cote D’Azur. The outcomes built were grounded in larger business and brand challenges and created genuinely utility from social media channels, becoming benchmarks for a number of other brands when thinking about social channels as more than a comms ‘ad on’. Wybe and I have had many conversations about implementing AI and Chatbots to solve real problems rather than create gimmicky ‘flash in the pans’! Wybe built a strategy department from scratch, repositioned the agency and restructured offering, shifting focus from digital campaigns to building digital products for brands, from apps and platforms to IoT. He was key to growing agency revenue by 30% on top of major client wins like: Red Bull on-premise, Nike, ABN AMRO, Arla Foods and Interpolis. The success at Cote D’Azur lead JWT Amsterdam to tempt him to them just over a year ago.

After being named innovation agency of the year in Cannes on top of the ‘Next Rembrandt’ grand prix wins, JWT in Amsterdam was increasingly approached by (new) clients asking for innovative and digital work. The agency was struggling with these requests because in reality the work and people were quite traditional resulting in lost pitches and clients consulting other agencies for integrated work. Bas Korsten, the agency ECD, approached Wybe to help build JWT’s digital literacy, steer the agency in a much needed digital transition and lead the various ‘bigger than ads’ projects.

Over the past year Wybe has implemented new methods of planning, changing the way they write briefs and the discussions they have with clients to create opportunities for developing fully integrated campaigns and more innovative solutions to client challenges. He has trained the creative department and leadership team on changing market needs and how to have different client conversations. And has also set up and helped achieve KPI’s on bringing in more ‘digital’ business together with the client teams.

The result has been that Wybe has helped win the business of Heineken (Sol and Orchard Thieves), Secret Escapes and Innogy while being able to retain the business (and in the first two cases avoiding a pitch) of ING, Media Markt and Opel because of an innovative and more integrated approach. Because of the increase of more digital work they have added a separate label to JWT with enough work for 2 dedicated creative teams, 5 designers and 2 video editors

With JWT as a global network embarking on some real change (including loss of its name), and Wybe feeling that the reason for his hiring now a ‘mission complete’ he wants to start to pursue his long held ambition to work in London.

Wybe could be boxed as a ‘digital’ planner by his CV. He is however a very smart upstream thinking with a real grasp of the changing would and need to offer more than messaging to audiences. Wybe is also a real entrepreneur. He’s the founder (with 2 others) of Amsterdam Adnight, a now large an hugely successful event in Amsterdam that attracts 5,200 attendees, Category A sponsors and most importantly opens up the creative industry there to the world.

Wybe would love to say hello, knowing it would be for a future reference chat in the first instance.

CV and portfolio here

Wybe’s salary expectations would be around £110k
His notice period is 2 months.

DAVID SMITH - STRATEGY DIRECTOR, Brand, Comms and Innovation strategy.

David Smith has extensive, experience across marketing comms, branding and innovation, both client side and in agencies. As part of the management team at Independents United he has also driven agency strategy and operations. David has built a strong, hybrid set of skills, making him equally adept at developing strategy for global brands or getting stuck in with founders of start-ups who need to create immediate marketing impact. David's work has ranged from helping Guinness find their purpose in the world to enabling the BBC to reconnect with Music audiences and much more.
David’s varied experience, particularly in building innovation programs for big businesses (such as Pepsico and Diageo), help to give David a real point of difference in his strategic capability.

Although this strategy experience has been ‘upstream’, his time as the Head of Digital Marketing at the BBC lead him into bringing loved and popular BBC Shows closer to their audiences. Whether that was taking Strictly Come dancing into Social media for the first time or pushing Dr Who to explore the new realms of interactive marketing.

David currently freelances, he’s a talent on our Genie platform, so open to freelance projects as well as being open to exploring more permanent opportunities. As we discussed Ben, David’s introduction is to help you see if such strategic skills would add value to your team / help push W+K into different and interesting parts of client organisations.

CV here and Portfolio here.

David’s headline day rate is £600, that is open for discussion based on project type and length. His perm salary expectations are in line with those of a Senior Planning Director.
Available now.