David Blecken
May 11, 2018

MullenLowe installs new creative structure in Japan

The 'creative kernel' model moves away from the traditional account-team structure.

L-R: Takahiro Maehara, Mike Sunda, Urara Ito, Nishant Shah
L-R: Takahiro Maehara, Mike Sunda, Urara Ito, Nishant Shah

MullenLowe Group Japan has established a four-person creative unit designed to serve as the central point of its operation in the market.

The unit consists of Mike Sunda and creative directors Nishant Shah, Takahiro Maehara and Urara Ito. Sunda, who is the agency’s lead strategist and cultural insight director, initiated the move. Last August, Sunda launched a cultural insights programme called Tokyo 20XX.

It follows the relocation of Shah to Tokyo from MullenLowe MENA in Dubai in February. Maehara joined in October 2017 with a background in creative technology. Ito joined from Yahoo in 2016 and has a background in art and design.

MullenLowe describes the unit as a “creative kernel”, “around which the agency’s distinctive multi-skillset capabilities will coalesce”.

A spokesperson for MullenLowe explained that the kernel model aims to move further away from a traditional account team structure to one that is better able to serve the changing needs of brand ecosystems.

The spokesperson said the new structure would mean that activities start from a creative perspective rather than the more traditional multi-tiered account management or project management structure.

The move follows calls from global marketing heads such as P&G’s Marc Pritchard for an increase in creative resources at agencies and a reduction in account servicing. In March, Pritchard said creatives would ideally account for three quarters’ of agencies’ resources.

Campaign Japan

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