Ben Bold
May 26, 2022

Publicis promotes Saatchi & Saatchi CEO to head group-wide creative practice

Kay elevated to new post after less than a year at Publicis.

Chris Kay
Chris Kay

Publicis Groupe UK has extended the role of Saatchi & Saatchi chief executive Chris Kay by appointing him CEO of its pan-agency creative practice.

Kay – who remains Saatchi & Saatchi CEO – effectively succeeds Magnus Djaba, to whom he previously reported and who was promoted to global chief client officer in November 2021 and relinquished his position as global president of Saatchi & Saatchi.

Kay, who joined Publicis Groupe in October 2021, will now oversee creative practice for Saatchi & Saatchi, Digitas, Leo Burnett, Publicis.Poke, Octopus, PGOne and Turner Duckworth, helping drive creativity for clients and working closely with Publicis Groupe chief creative officer Ben Mooge.

Before arriving at Saatchi & Saatchi, Kay was at 72andSunny, where he spent nearly nine years, initially as partner and managing director of its Los Angeles operation and latterly as chief executive of Apac, working out of Sydney. In the US he helped double the agency's revenue with global account wins including Google, Adidas, Starbucks, MillerCoors and Samsung.

Kay has also worked client-side, as head of marketing for Manchester City Football Club, which he joined after more than seven years at then-Fallon.

At Publicis Groupe, Kay will continue to report to UK CEO Annette King, who commented on his rapid rise: "In the space of just a few months leading Saatchi & Saatchi, Chris has set out a clear vision for the agency, creating a new 'squad' structure and leading a number of new business wins including Churchill and Siemens.

"Working with the talented line-up of agency leaders, I know he'll do a fantastic job in leading the practice as well as the agency."

Kay added: "Having this increased responsibility and opportunity to partner with, and learn from, this extended crew of creative entrepreneurs is pretty inspiring. I look forward to helping play a broader role in pushing the creative identity of Publicis Groupe UK alongside this team and with these great agency brands."

Campaign UK

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