Y&R has hired João Coutinho as its first North American executive creative director.
He will report to chief creative officer Leslie Sims and work to help manage both the network’s creative work and its new business efforts across the continent.
“João’s creative spirit is absolutely infectious,” said Sims in a statement on the hiring news. “He’s been the force behind ideas that have become part of culture and have truly engaged and touched people all over the world. We are so happy to welcome him on board as we strengthen our creative leadership in North America.”
Coutinho started his career in his native Portugal and most recently served as group creative director at Grey New York, where he worked on such accounts as Volvo, P&G and Canon. His work on projects like the gun control stunt “Guns with History” and “Highway Robbery,” an activation promoting Volvo’s hybrid XC90 T8 model, helped make Grey one of the most-awarded agencies at Cannes over the past two years.
“The chance to help Leslie shape Y&R North America’s creative culture is the opportunity I’ve worked toward my whole career,” he said, citing his “instant chemistry” with Sims, global chief creative officer Tony Granger and North American chief strategy officer Dick de Lange.
Prior to joining Grey in 2014, Coutinho served as creative lead at Ogilvy Brazil and worked as an art director at the Portugese offices of BBDO, JWT and Lowe, among others.