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Leo Burnett London has appointed Chaka Sobhani to the role of chief creative officer. She joins Leo Burnett London from Mother London, where she has worked since 2013. Prior to that she worked at broadcaster ITV, setting up in-house agency ITV Creative and becoming its first creative director. Sobhani started her career as a comedy and performance writer in the broadcast arena, which led to her joining U.S.TV network Fox, creating its branding and advertising as it launched kids' channels across Europe and the Middle East. She went on to write and direct film and content for ITV. At ITV Creative, she was responsible for developing and directing campaigns for well-known ITV shows. At Leo Burnet,t she will work with Paul Lawson, CEO; Josh Bullmore, chief strategy officer; and Sarah Baumann, deputy CEO, as part of the agency's senior leadership team.
Barbarian Group Co-Founder Benjamin Palmer has left the agency after 14 years. Palmer, who announced the news on social media saying it was "time for a new adventure," was one of six partners who co-founded the agency in 2001. He is known for his work on digital campaigns like Burger King's "Subservient Chicken" and the beer cannon for Milwaukee's Best Light. Palmer moved into the chairman role at the Cheil-owned shop in 2013 when Sophie Kelly became CEO.
McCann New York has made several new hires for its creative and production teams. The agency named both Peter Powell and Gene Campanelli as SVP, group creative directors; Dana May as executive producer and Christine Lane as SVP, executive integrated producer. Powell and Campanelli, who will be responsible for creative leadership across Verizon's B2B products and services, were most recently creative directors at Leo Burnett. May was formerly head of production at CHI & Partners and prior to that a senior producer at Droga5. Lane previously oversaw production at strategy and design agency Sub Rosa.
Venables Bell & Partners has hired Justin Moore as creative director. Moore joins the agency from GS&P where he spent three years, including working on the Cisco account and leading several successful pitches including Next, Marmot and Comcast. Prior to that he spent 12 years at BBH London, rising from junior copywriter to creative director and partner. At BBH, he worked on clients including British Airways, Johnnie Walker, Audi, Unilever's Axe and Levi's.
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J. Walter Thompson New York has hired Anthony Nelson as head of content production, reporting to Brent Choi, chief creative officer for J. Walter Thompson New York and Canada. Most recently, Nelson was with Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, New York, where he served as director of production. Prior to joining Goodby, he was at BBDO for nearly three years, serving as group executive producer for GE. Before that, he was at FCB New York, where he was part of the Oreo Daily Twist team.
BBDO Düsseldorf has appointed Robert Herter to the post of executive creative director. He previously worked for Jung von Matt for eight years, most recently as creative director in Hamburg. There his clients included Edeka, Mercedes-Benz, Wüstenrot & Württembergische, and Dortmund's Konzerthaus. His work has included the films "Chicken" and "Sorry" for Mercedes-Benz. Herter began his career with Scholz & Friends.
VML has promoted Chris Corley from group creative director to executive creative director and Nick Allegri from creative director to group creative director. Corley joined VML in 2012 as a creative director and has worked on some of the agency's largest accounts, including Wendy's. Allegri, who currently leads Tropicana, Propel and Stubborn Soda's social and branded content platforms, joined VML in 2005.
M&C Saatchi-owned digital and direct marketing agency Lida has appointed Trefor Thomas, previously executive creative director at SapientNitro, as chief creative officer. Thomas, who takes up his new role in June, leaves SapientNitro after two and a half years. There he was responsible for business for clients including Sky, Tui and Harley Davidson. In earlier roles, he co-founded digital agency Brand Advocate; headed up JWT's digital and direct arm, RMG Connect, for Europe, Middle East and Africa; and led Saatchi & Saatchi's integrated business in London.