Nikki Wicks
Feb 23, 2015

Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore hires head of planning from Ogilvy

SINGAPORE - After years of restructuring and redefining of business models, agencies are putting the focus back on creativity, according to Saatchi & Saatchi’s new head of planning Steve Walls.

Steve Walls
Steve Walls

Walls has moved from Ogilvy & Mather after two years to take on the new role at Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore. The appointment is the first senior hire by Shannon Cullum since he took the helm as CEO of the agency in late 2014.

“Steve is here to do what he does best—make wonderful work,” said Cullum. "Inspired thinking begets inspiring creative, and I know Steve will quickly become essential to both our creatives and clients.”

Wells' arrival follows the agency's recent appointment by computer and electronics giant Acer as its global creative agency. Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore won the account following a global pitch process which included Grey, Dentsu Aegis Network and DDB in the final stages.

Walls, who has also previously held roles at BBH, JWT and AMV BBDO, wrote on LinkedIn that “for 16 years I've looked at the Saatchi Singapore building and wanted to work inside it... there's magic in those walls and I'm very excited to finally be a part of it.”

Walls told Campaign Asia-Pacific a shift is occurring in the industry, with clients turning to Singapore for great creative work, not just for infrastructure.

“I think after years and years of looking at the model and restructuring around clients, we’re finally settling down,” said Walls. “We’re at that point where people are saying, 'Fantastic, I’ve done everything that I need to do to reduce the costs as far as I can, I’ve spent years looking at the system.' And we’re back at the point where we’re realising the competitive advantage of actually having better work.”

He added that agencies are not differentiated in terms of price or capabilities. "Everyone can do everything, and so it’s becoming more about how well you do it.”

During his career, Walls has worked on clients including BMW, Castrol, CNBC-Asia, JetBlue, Johnnie Walker, Nestle and Unilever. In his new role, he will report directly to Cullum.


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