Swords joined TBWA Shanghai in mid-2011 from Cawley Nea\TBWA in Dublin, Ireland, where he worked for the past 18 years on Pernod Ricard’s Jameson whisky brand in addition to handling local management responsibilities. "It has been a progressive relationship with the agency," Swords commented.
During his first 18 months in China, Swords oversaw the agency’s flagship McDonald’s account, and will continue to be "deeply involved".
Swords continues to report to Ian Thubron, co-president of TBWA Greater China, who has been acting managing director for the last 18 months. Thubron said Swords' "extremely high level of brand leadership" for McDonald’s was key to his promotion.
"It’s no coincidence that the level of strategic and creative thinking on the brand has improved exponentially—we’ve won EFFIEs, we’ve launched initiatives like the Angry Birds partnership," Thubron added.
Swords will now divide his time between McDonald’s and other anchor clients such as Pernod Ricard, Adidas and General Electric. Caroline So from Lowe has also been newly hired as business director to assist in servicing McDonald's on an operational basis.