Clemenger BBDO Sydney snares ex-Y&R CCO Ben Coulson for chief creative officer role

Clemenger CCO pic (2).jpgCB Exclusive - Clemenger BBDO Sydney has today announced Ben Coulson as chief creative officer.

Coulson joins Clemenger after 10 years at Y&R, most recently as CCO Australia and New Zealand, and succeeds Paul Nagy who recently resigned from the agency.

Coulson is currently ranked in the Top 10 Chief Creative Officers in the world in the Won Report and has twice been named top 5 creative directors in the world at Cannes.

Says Andy Pontin, CEO, Clemenger BBDO Sydney: "Ben is an outstanding creative leader with a pedigree that speaks for itself. More importantly, he cares about people and is brilliant at nurturing creative talent and a creative culture. We're thrilled to have Ben on board."
In his 6 years as CCO, agencies under Coulson's leadership have won 67 Cannes Lions, 21 D&AD pencils and received Agency of the Year accolades from Effies, AWARD, Campaign Brief, AdNews and B&T.

Says Coulson: I couldn't be more excited to be joining what I believe is the world's best agency network, BBDO. Clemenger and Colenso are the creative heavyweights in our region and I look forward to furthering that success. Clems Sydney is a strong business and has the right foundations to be one of the very best. I can't wait to roll up my sleeves with the team."

Coulson will start at Clemenger in early 2017.


Adgirl said:


Everyone said:

Worthington, McGrath and now Coulson. Game over!

Checkmate said:

That's a big move. Exactly what Clems Sydney needs.

Paul said:

True to form for Robert and Clemenger.

Hire the best, be the best.

Captain obvious said:

It's such a simple formular, but why don't more agencies just do what Clems do. Stump up for all the best talent in the business and consistently do the best work.

kiddin said:


D said:


Patts Y&R said:

Double bugger!!

BBDO's competitors said:

This is unfair.
We can't win.
You guys are too good.
I quit.
Thanks for letting us play.

Dangerous Dave said:

Seriously Coulson, please start aging and loosing your hair. It's shitting me now!

Fail to see the joke said:

What's with all the people (or one person) who keeps posting lol. If you have nothing to add, don't try. Lesson 1 of being a good creative.

Sam Mitchell said:

Oh boy wowee! Congrats on the new role.

Douggie the Pizza Hut boy said:

A succession of creative leaders have failed to have much impact on the resistance to great work that seems to be a part of Clemenger Sydney's DNA. It's been going on for decades. They try this one, that one and then the other one. Perhaps that resistance is client-driven. Certainly there's a world of difference between the Sydney and Melbourne offices. One can only wish Ben well, and see if some of the magic of the early 2000 era Patts can be imported into Clems. Personally, I blame evil spirits from the nearby St Leonards cemetery. Perhaps this appointment, combined with a move to fashionable Ultimo is the answer.

@captain obvious said:

couldn't agree more, the right level of investment in senior talent is a must.

Give it two years said:

If you want to win awards, Sydney ain't the place to do it.

Who cares said:

He is such a babe. Sydney ad girls, finally a bit of eye candy. Thats the real talent we've been missing.

Joe said:

Congrats Ben!

Good News said:

Congratulations Ben! All the best

Thinking about Clems Sydney said:

It's not half as bad a s people try and make out.

It is a large profitable agency, with blue chip clients and very decent people, who do more good creative work than most agencies.

They are just in a shit location and are overshadowed by the Melb and Auckland offices.

With one of the regions best at the helm, they are will become a great creative shop as well as a very strong business.

SImple truth said:

Coulson has fixed up a bunch of Y&R agencies which were in much worse shape than Clems Sydney.

You've gotta admit said:

That PR shot is Titanium

Buddy Franklin said:

You won't look back.

He can be my boss said:

Hot AF

Barney said:

Sweet. Good move.

It's 2016 FFS said:

Imagine the outrarge if Sydney ad-men were to objectify a female creative in the same way? Actually that wouldn't happen cause there aren't any hot girls in Sydney agencies...

@it's 2016 FFS editor said:

Imagine the outrarge if Sydney ad-men were to objectify a female creative in the same way? Actually that wouldn't happen cause there aren't enough girls given opportunities in Sydney agencies...

All the best BC said:

Will be more than a challenge for Ben.

Nothing Clem Sydney delights in more than seeing an "appointed" Melbourne leader fail.
Don't expect to get the wind at your back, they probably won't be cheering for you.

But maybe the Coulson charm can win them over.

So much snare said:

Snare, a word only ever used in the ad world, he wanted out, they paid him more, he took the job, simple.

And no, investment in senior creative talent is not the answer, it's an answer, but probably not the right one. Probably would be if any of the creatives had actual creative talent, but low quality writing and colouring in, isn't creativity.

Who's running Y&R now?? said:

Without Coulson it feels like they will drop off pretty quickly, he was the best thing there.

Ben said:

Hey Y&R talent & clients, come on in, the water is fine.

Ashley said:

Well done Ben. You're a great talent and a fuck'n funny guy, but so ugly.

@all the best said:

Don't forget where he has come from, WPP ain't no joy ride.

Bon Snott said:

@So much snare said

Hiring creative talent is not the answer?

the answer to what? What problem are you talking about? You talking about Clems or in general?

Putting Clems Sydney aside, if an agency's problem is 'creativity' then good creative talent is the only answer I've ever seen work (it needs the rest of the agency to lift as well of course).
I've never seen good creative product come out of a place without great creative people. And i've only ever seen a bad/average agency become good/great when good creative people arrive there.

Sideways said:

Bit of a move down for someone as good as Ben isn't it?

John said:

Coulson is one of the very best (and a great human too)

Could have worked anywhere in the world, so Clems Sydney and the Australian industry as a whole is lucky he chose to stay.

Why BBDO Sydney? The money will be really good, and he has the challenge of lifting them to the level of Clems Melb and Colenso. That's a proper job, and if he pulls it off, it'll put the icing on a great career.

A much stronger global network, too. So if he has aspirations in the future of broadening his role, not a bad place to be.

I hope they're smart enough at BBDO Sydney to know they've got a good one, and let him change their culture for the better.

But he's still annoyingly attractive though.

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