Gemma Charles
Apr 11, 2024

M&C Saatchi nabs McCann UK duo to be global chief creatives

Rob Doubal and Laurence “Lolly” Thomson had been at McCann UK for the past 14 years.

Rob Doubal (left) and Laurence Thomson
Rob Doubal (left) and Laurence Thomson

Rob Doubal and Laurence “Lolly” Thomson, the chief creative officers of McCann UK and co-presidents of McCann London, are joining M&C Saatchi as the group’s global joint chief creative officers.

M&C Saatchi said the newly-created roles will provide “a central focal point for the group’s creative ambition and activities” as it rolls out its new operating model.

Doubal and Thomson - known across the industry as “Rob and Lolly” - joined McCann London in 2012 from Wieden & Kennedy London as executive creative directors before their elevation to regional chief creative officers across the UK in 2019. Prior to Wieden & Kennedy, the duo formed at Mother London where they had a four-year stint.

Over the last two decades they have delivered campaigns for brands including Xbox, Just Eat, Microsoft, Aldi, and Sky, and have overseen work that has won more than 100 Cannes Lions and over 800 awards from major international shows.

Doubal and Thomson, who are set to take up their new positions later this year, described M&C Saatchi as “an agency with one the most famous names in advertising history and a legacy of creative brilliance”.

“A truly iconic brand with some fantastic offices around the world. Driving fame and commerce by leveraging art and creativity is what we love to do and joining the new team with a shared ambition to make M&C Saatchi a global powerhouse with creativity at its core got us very excited,” they added.

Executive chair Zillah Byng-Thorne said of the pair: “Their creative vision combines with a passion for doing the best for clients, and I expect them to make a huge cultural impact on all parts of the M&C Saatchi Group, which will produce world-class creativity and business results.”

Zaid Al-Qassab, the incoming group chief executive, added: “I was wowed by Rob and Lolly’s passion for innovation and commitment to creative excellence throughout the recruitment process. 

“Their unique way of looking at the world, and track record of success with iconic and category disrupting campaigns, will undoubtedly drive transformative results for our clients,” he said.

Doubal and Thomson were ranked number 11 in Campaign's annual list of top UK creatives in The Lists at the end of 2023.

Byng-Thorne has been looking to create a new group-wide chief creative officer role since telling investors in September that it was key to growth. “As technology advances, creativity is even more integral to our future growth than it has been in our past,” the company said at the time.

McCann has also been shaking up its own senior management team under Daryl Lee, the global chief executive of McCann Worldgroup, recruiting Javier Campopiano as global chief creative officer and Regan Warner as executive creative director at McCann London last year.

McCann said in a statement that Doubal and Thomson “leave a great creative legacy here at McCann and they have had a great run”, adding: “They developed a strong internal creative culture here in London and the UK, and we thank them for their indelible creative impact on clients, the business and our people. We wish Rob and Lolly our best in their next venture.”

McCann went on to say “our business is evolving at pace” and will announce new creative leadership in due course.

Campaign UK

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