Welcome Richard Morris!
Last month, we welcomed our new Initiative UK CEO, Richard Morris, to the fourth floor at St. Johns Square. Richard brings over 20 years of innovative and visionary leadership experience, and has a strong focus on creative media, digital and tech. Whilst he’s settling in, we’ve asked him a few questions to get to know him better…
Can you tell us a bit about your previous roles in media?
I began my career as a TV buyer, after which I set up one of the first media agency DRTV functions in the UK. A love of brands, and a belief in the power of media to build them, influenced a move to Carat’s Planning unit. It was good timing, in retrospect, as this was when digital was beginning to disrupt conventional media thinking. Having headed up the Planning team I moved into a leadership role, as Managing Director of Vizeum. After 4 years I took up a Group position within Dentsu Aegis, building an integrated creative/media proposition across EMEA. Most recently I was Global Client President on DIAGEO, leading digital transformation across their portfolio of brands.
What attracted you to IPG Mediabrands and what are your first impressions?
The decision to join IPG Mediabrands was, in truth, an easy one. We have an amazing opportunity right now to present the market with a compelling and differentiated proposition. In meeting with Caroline Foster Kenny and Mat Baxter it was obvious the scale of the ambition they held, and this was something I wanted to be part of!
My first impressions are really positive: a people-first culture, a will to be better, and a very warm welcome!
What will you be doing here at IPG Mediabrands?
As CEO of Initiative UK, my role is to help our clients take the initiative in culture. I want to support our teams to create world-class work built on cultural insights that helps our clients grow their brands. We have bold ambitions for the agency and I’m excited about the journey ahead.
Most innovative client you’ve worked with in the past?
Burberry. A digital pioneer with a track record of creating elegant and brilliant ideas, executed beautifully. Two highlights for me were the world’s first personalised TV ad for My Burberry, and the global live broadcast (through Digital OOH and Mobile) of their Womenswear Show – using digital media to democratise luxury.
Who’s someone in the industry you admire the most?
Nigel Sharrocks, Chairman of BARB and Digital Cinema Media. Someone who embraces change, but does so with calm, integrity, and wisdom.
What are your favourite things outside work?
My daughters, Daphne and Delilah, and Arsenal (although the latter is really frustrating me right now!). I also photograph, paint, swim, run, and play tennis. All to varying degrees of ability.