WRG appoints new CEO

Agency WRG has appointed Russ Lidstone, former chief executive at advertising firm Havas Worldwide, as its new CEO.

WRG's new CEO Russ Lidstone
WRG's new CEO Russ Lidstone

WRG intends for Lidstone’s integrated agency background to bring a ‘new dimension’ to the agency, where he will focus on placing brand experience at the centre of communications and engagement.


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Lidstone has been credited with instigating the integration of digital, PR and advertising during his six-year tenure as CEO of Havas Worldwide, as well as evolving its social, SEO and channel capabilities.

He has over 20 years’ experience in marketing communications as an agency strategist and CEO, having started his career at Coca-Cola before going on to hold planning and leadership roles in integrated advertising agencies including McCann, Butterfield Day, HHCL, Lowe and JWT.

WRG stated that Lidstone’s background will be ‘instrumental’ in ensuring it remains at the cutting edge of experiential communications.

Ian Plummer, chairman of WRG, said: "WRG prides itself on staying ahead of the curve in the ever-changing, fast-paced world of comms. Our priority is finding the most innovative, exciting ways to engage audiences for our clients. 

"We believe Russ is the right person to lead us onto the next level. He has an enviable track record and brings not just the experience of running an international agency and leading blue-chip organisations, but a genuine enthusiasm and ambition to WRG; the sort that will appeal to existing clients and a whole host of new brands and businesses that are looking for gold-standard comms."

Lidstone said: "It’s a privilege to take the reins in what for me is the dream job at such an incredibly exciting time in the experiential industry, with more brands now looking towards using immersive creativity to drive engagement. The work WRG is already doing in this space, as well as its plans to innovate, is breaking down the walls of traditional comms.

"My priority in the first few weeks will be to listen, meet as many of WRG’s existing clients as possible and visit our key offices in Asia, the US and Europe, as well as exploring new client opportunities."

Lidstone will divide his time between WRG’s headquarters in Manchester, its London office and its operations in Hong Kong, Philadelphia and Basel. David Sharrock will continue in his post as the COO and CFO.

Read our interview with WRG's new CEO here.

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