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

Steveback.jpgCB Asia Exclusive - Campaign Brief Asia 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 the early new year.

Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific's chief creative officer Eugene Cheong was tight-lipped on Back's replacement: :We have several candidates for the Singapore role, but it's not finalize yet."

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

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.

17 Comments

T said:

Wow, big news!
Good luck Backy. I'm sure there will be less politics and some great real work for you back in Australia.

Good on you said:

Run Backy and don't look back. In time it will all seem like a bad dream.

Another Expat CD said:

Pushed? Shoved? An Asian face-saving way out?

If half the rumours coming out of Ogilvy Singapore are true, then I reckon Stevo is pretty lucky to have a job to return to back in Oz.

Curious said:

Does anyone know why Ogilvy Sydney is the ONLY agency in Asia to participate in Campaign's Agency of the Year?

Did Mr Back have anything to do with that? Or are O&M Sydney simply outlaw bad asses?

Okay Lah said:

Not much success in Singapore eh? Tough market...sorts the men from the boys. Well now, there's only Danny (BBDO) and Mel (TBWA) left running the aussie show in Singapore.

The great escape said:

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

Nice one said:

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

Exodus said:

Lots of really good senior talent leaving Ogilvy Singapore. Only one guy has been there all the way through. The Mastermind- Eugene. He'll be able to hold it all together. Word is he did all of the good work coming out of there anyway.

@ Exodus said:

I'm guessing you heard that from Eugene ... He has learned well from Khai.

Lauren Ami said:

Nooooooooooooooooo

Re 'eugeneexodus" said:

So with an agency with dozens of high profile senior talent why would it be considered a success by eugene if he also had to actually do the work. That's terrible ecd'inng, no?

Melbourneite said:

Been reading the comments on CB Oz site as a local and thought i would check your version.
Regardless of what is happening in Singapore [not meant in a bad way] or what has occurred, Ogilvy Melbourne needs a serious heavy weight in there to shake the place up and grow the business. In fact, Melbourne needs a huge shake up in general and if given one, clients around town will start moving. Good luck Steve, build a strong loyal team around you and you will change the face of ogilvy.

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.

Ugh said:

Jonathan, you cant pin CIMB on him....you know very well who was responsible for that one. As for good creatives leaving, well, if your version of good is people who do only proactive work, well, yes then its true. This is a guy who has overseen some remarkable work...real work...and I doubt he has forgotten how to do that. He will fare better in OZ. Nobody here understands how great real work is created....its not just a creatives job, the process starts long before the brief even lands on a creatives desk.

Keep telling yourselves that. said:

'Here nobody understands how great real work is created'?
Maybe at Ogilvy.
Other agencies like DDB, BBH etc are killing it.

@ Ugh said:

CIMB's departure was due to a very respected individual leaving. The reason for that individual's departure was partly due to politics within the agency. Everyone knew the 2 leads didn't get along, and for one to survive, the other had to go. So Jonathan is right, Back was partly responsible for the account leaving.

you've got to be joking???? said:

@ugh respected individual for what? oh isn't that respected individual being sued by a rather large holding group for poaching said Client.

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