McCann strengthens strategy team

Published on March 1, 2021

We are pleased to announce that we have further strengthened our strategy team with the promotion of Gideon Wilkins and Kathryn Ellis to managing partners.

Gideon joined our Birmingham office in 2019, having previously held the position of Global Brand Guidance Director at Kantar where he led the Unilever account. In just 18 months, he’s been instrumental in further innovating our strategy offering, enhancing our signature planning and research capabilities, as well as introducing a host of exciting new talent and skills.

Kathryn has over 15 years of experience in leading brand, business and communications strategies, alongside holding the position of associate lecturer in Advertising at Southampton Solent University. She is a leading voice on growing and retaining female talent within the industry, and her acclaimed research in this area has formed the basis for her many keynote speaker appearances at IPA and Creative Equals events, as well as her published work. Whilst at McCann Bristol she has been integral in rebranding the Royal Mint, launching Motability's first ever direct to consumer campaign and taking Pink Lady apples global.

The promotions follow the 2020 appointment of Gary Armitage as Regional Head of Strategy, Mastercard last year, and are the latest steps in expanding McCann Central’s 30-strong division of strategy, research and planning specialists, who sit at the core of its effective creative.

Dean Lovett, CEO at McCann Central, commented: “Strategy, planning and research are a fundamental part of everything we do here at McCann and in our pledge to help our clients play a meaningful role in people’s lives. Every day, our expert strategists, planners and researchers uncover insights to guide our creativity and – crucially – create positive results for our clients, which is why we are delighted to be further strengthening our strategy team.

“It’s an exciting time for our business and we recognise that a strong strategy team is central to continuing to deliver the world-class work for which we are known and building on our celebrated philosophy of, ‘Truth Well Told’. We’ve always prided ourselves on the strength of our offering but thanks to these latest developments, we are now the strongest we’ve ever been.

“We’d like to congratulate Gideon and Kathryn on their promotions. We have no doubt that, along with our brilliant team, they will continue to ensure our creative work is the bravest and best it can be, and more importantly truly effective for our clients.”

The McCann strategy team brings different agency disciplines together to build campaigns with a shared, consistent approach.Its strategists’ experience, skills and capabilities include brand planning for digital communication and creative development, from analysis of consumer trends, needs and segmentation, focus groups, workshops and co-creation, to campaign creative and proposition evaluations.