Ogilvy set to get Back to Melbourne to fill newly created national chief creative officer role

Steveback.pngCB Exclusive - Campaign Brief can reveal that Ogilvy will be transferring Aussie expat Steve Back, currently chief creative officer at Ogilvy Singapore, to the newly created role of national chief creative officer of Ogilvy Australia.

Back will be based in Melbourne, starting in February of next year.

Back joined Ogilvy Singapore from the ECD role at Saatchi & Saatchi Australia in late 2010.

Ogilvy Australia CEO Andrew Baxter said of the appointment: "Steve is one of the region's most renowned creatives and we are incredibly excited to have him join the Ogilvy Australia team. His broad experience on big brands and proven success with campaigns that really work for clients will be a great asset to our already strong creative team."
Baxter said Back's hire added to an already impressive creative lineup at Ogilvy, with the agency producing two of the country's best campaigns of 2012, for clients Coca Cola and AAMI. "Our creative prowess has grown substantially during the past 12 months, and with Back joining the team, we will have the depth and strength to make 2013 an incredible year of creativity for Ogilvy Australia."

Back said of his move: "I'm really excited to be joining Andrew and the team in Australia. They've really hit their stride in the last 12 months with campaigns like Share a Coke. I'm looking forward to contributing to the agency's continued success."

With around 500 staff working in both Sydney and Melbourne, Ogilvy Australia is one of the country's largest agencies. It has experts in all areas of marketing communications including creative advertising, digital, direct, media, and production, and operates across every medium for leading local and global brands. In 2012 Ogilvy won both the "Network of the Year" award at the Cannes Lions Festival and the "Network of the Year" award at the Effies. Ogilvy Australia was also in the top four most awarded Ogilvy offices at the Cannes Lions awards.

Back is one of Australia's most respected and awarded ECDs and was appointed as executive creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney in November 2007, replacing David Nobay when he departed to start up Droga5.

Originally a star at Marketforce in Perth, Back first worked at George Patterson Sydney followed by a highly awarded stint at Leo Burnett Sydney. Back played a major role in Leo's winning Campaign Brief's Australian Agency of the Year in 2000. Back then spent several years in London before being enticed to New Zealand to join Colenso BBDO. Mike O'Sullivan then hired Back as Head of Art when he was appointed ECD of Saatchi & Saatchi NZ. The agency went on the win CB New Zealand Agency of the year in 2006 and 2007.

He then joined DDB Sydney as creative director where he dramatically re energized the agency, moving them to equal number one Australian agency in The Work 07 with Saatchi & Saatchi Australia. Under Back, DDB Sydney was the only Australian agency to get gongs at all four of the top international award shows (D&AD, The One Show, Clio and Cannes) in 2007.

In 2010, while under his creative stewardship, Saatchi & Saatchi Australia was named Campaign Brief's Agency of the Decade, AWARD's Agency of the Year with Lion Nathan Breweries being named AWARD's Client of the Year off the back of the agency's work. 2010 was the year in which the agency received the most awards in its 25 year history.

Thumbnail image for TOYOTA-BORDER.pngAs well as being awarded at Cannes Lions, D&AD, The One Show, The Webby Awards and the other usual suspects, Back is also credited with creating the most-awarded Toyota campaign of all time. The Toyota "Nothing Soft Gets In" campaign was awarded 2 of the 8 Gold Lions awarded in the Promo & Activation category at the 2010 Cannes Lions, and also scooped 3 Gold Lions in the Direct category.


uh oh said:

look out suits

Not surprised said:

At all.

Nice One said:

Well done Ogilvy - great hire! And congratulations Steve - great gig for a really good guy!

He clearly missed me too much.

Excellent hire Billy and McEwan.

Welcome to Melbourne, Stephen.

The great escape said:

Well done on getting out of Singapore Ogilvy with your career intact.

Tundewallah said:

Will the last person at Ogilvy Singapore please shut the door on the way out? #noleadership

Okay Lah said:

Well now, there's only Danny (BBDO) and Mel (TBWA) left running the aussie show in Singapore.

ex ogilvy creative said:

Perfect fit. To all you suits, have fun with Backy.

Melbourne Creative said:

Veeeeery Interesting.

Ogilvy Melbourne needs someone of Back's reputation and stature to shake up the dormant, idea-free zombie state it has been in for a decade.

I would sincerely love to see him really turn the place around, but fear that it might be like turning the QE2 around with a toothpick as a rudder.

Ralphsmith lasted a minute and couldn't effect any change... can Ogilvy change?

WOW said:

Guess who's Back?

@WOW said:

He's Back.

Scam Ad said:

Remember the good old days of Saatchi & Saatchi....no more. HaHaHa Ogiivy.

Shaun said:

I like this guy.

WOW said:

Back again.

Jonathan said:

What did he do it Singapore? The agency ranking drop. They didn't win any new business. In fact they lost their biggest client -CIMB and others. A lot of the good creatives left the agency along with a couple of good suits.

Renowned of Infamous? said:

He did such a 'bang up' job at Saatchis when last in Oz that Ogilvy clearly figured he'd be perfect for their shop.

Not that anyone could do much harm to that brand.

The Terminator said:

I'll be Back.

Killing agencies since . . .

Why Feb? said:

Can't you guys get him out of sg sooner?

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