Alexandre Gama Relinquishes Global CCO Role at BBH

Brazilian Adman Will Focus on His Sao Paulo Shop Neogama and Other Passions

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Alexandre Gama
Alexandre Gama Credit: Credit: Christian Castanho

Sao Paulo-based Neogama, previously Neogama/BBH, will operate as a standalone Publicis Groupe-owned agency in Brazil as Alexandre Gama relinquishes the role of BBH's global chief creative officer that he took on three years ago when John Hegarty retired from active management.

Mr. Gama, who said he spent about half his time on global coordination, will now focus on Brazil, where he remains both CEO and chief creative officer of the Sao Paulo agency he started in 1999. He sold a minority share in the agency to BBH in 2002, and Publicis Groupe took a 100% stake in both BBH and Neogama in 2012.

BBH will name a new global CCO, a spokeswoman in London said.

Mr. Gama, whose earnout period following the Publicis acquisition ended late last year, said his agency will still have an operational agreement with BBH and work with BBH clients on a case-by-case basis, and with other Publicis-owned companies.

He is happiest as a creative entrepreneur, and is pursuing his passions for cars and music as well as running Neogama. A guitar player, he started a company called VIOLAB a few years ago to encourage and promote guitar playing, and musical talent in Brazil (the Portuguese word for guitar is violao).

"Most Brazilian music is played on a guitar, but no one did something deeper with that insight," Mr. Gama said.

With a business partner, guitarist Ulisses Rocha, he set up a VIOLAB website and YouTube channel. A weekly VIOLAB music program on the radio, hosted by Mr. Gama, will debut in February.

"This year VIOLAB will do content, shows and a festival," he said. "I'm looking for sponsors now."

A car guy, he's also an investor in a specialist sports car company called BAC started by two brothers in the U.K. that builds a one-seater custom car called Mono; prices start at $130,000. Two years ago Mr. Gama became the first (and still the only) Brazilian to own a Mono. He has since invested in the business, which produces 40 or 50 cars a year, and joined its board of directors. In Sao Paulo, he drives his Mono at a race track. (In his daily life, Mr. Gama, like many senior executives in Brazil, drives around town in an armored car for security reasons.)

He said he's also considering new ventures in the areas of technology and design.

Publicis Groupe Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy said in a statement: "Neogama will be part of Publicis Communications in Brazil and I am convinced that its contribution to our growth and reputation will be stellar."