BETC London Becomes the Latest Agency to Name a Female Chief Creative Officer

Rosie Bardales promoted to top role

Creative director Nathanael Potter and chief creative officer Rosie Bardales
BETC London

Today the London office of BETC announced the promotion of executive creative director Rosie Bardales to the chief creative officer role.

With this move, the Havas-owned agency becomes the latest in a string of shops to promote women to top creative leadership roles. In addition to the promotion, former freelancer Nathanael Potter has been hired as the agency’s newest creative director as BETC prepares to move to “a bigger space” in the trendy neighborhood of Shoreditch.

Bardales joined BETC in the ecd role three years ago after helping launch major campaigns for clients like Levi’s and Powerade while at Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam. She previously held creative roles at several London agencies including BBH and Mother.

“It’s been absolutely amazing to work with him over the past few months,” said Bardales in a statement regarding the Potter hire. “I’m very glad to welcome him as a full-time member of the team.”

The London office has spent much of the past year in recovery mode after losing two of its biggest clients in Bacardi (which consolidated its global creative and media business with Omnicom in 2015) and Diet Coke (which went to Dawson Pickering, an agency founded by former BETC executives).

Diversity in leadership roles remains a contentious topic in the ad industry at large, though agencies in the U.S. and Europe have moved to promote more women amid controversies like the ongoing discrimination suit filed against JWT and its parent company WPP by global chief communications officer Erin Johnson and the persistent presence of advocates like Cindy Gallop.

For example, Grey London just named Caroline Pay and Vicki Maguire as its co-chief creative officers. And in recent months, U.S. agencies like Campbell Ewald, GS&P and BBDO have announced their first female creative chiefs—the latter after Omnicom CEO John Wren promised to double the number of women in such leadership positions during a 2016 earnings call.

While such hires continue to get attention in an industry long criticized for its lack of diversity on all fronts, the trend is not new. In early 2015, for example, agencies Y&R, Ogilvy, Wunderman New York and several others made female CCO hires.