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TBWA Names New Global Creative Lead for Nissan United

Neil Dawson returns to head up Omnicom's multi-agency unit

Dawson formerly led his own agency in London. Image courtesy of Neil Dawson.

TBWA has rehired Neil Dawson to serve as global executive creative director at Nissan United, the dedicated multi-agency unit that Omnicom launched in 2013 to serve the Japanese auto giant.

Dawson will relocate to New York from London, where he served as co-founder and joint creative director at Dawson Pickering for the past two years. He previously served as a creative director at TBWA's U.K. office, leading its successful pitch for the Etihad Airways business in 2005.

Dawson will report to both TBWA global creative president Chris Garbutt and Nissan United president Jon Castle, himself a former managing director of TBWA's Nissan and Infiniti accounts within the United States.

"Neil is an amazing talent with an exceptional background and the ability to generate award-winning creative on a global scale," Castle said. "Nissan is an incredibly ambitious brand, and we are confident that Neil will help drive great work in our markets around the world. We are delighted to have him join the Nissan United team."

Dawson began his advertising career as an art director at Leo Burnett London and first gained fame within the industry for working on DDB's 1997 Volkswagen campaign "Surprisingly Ordinary Prices," which won awards at shows around the world. He later led the global Johnnie Walker account at BBH. In 2011, Dawson co-founded Havas agency BETC's London office, which split with its principals in 2014 during what current CEO Andrew Stirk described to Campaign as a "dramatic and emotional ... breakdown." Less than a year later, Dawson Pickering won the Diet Coke account away from BETC without a review.

"I'm thrilled that Neil is joining TBWA, and is going to lead Nissan creative globally," said Garbutt. "He has a history of disrupting the category with his creative product, and he's not afraid to shake things up in order to produce the kind of iconic work that reinvents the status quo. At TBWA, we are committed to creative brilliance on all our brands, and Neil will bring just that."

Dawson replaces the outgoing Antonio Navas, who left Omnicom after approximately one year in February to become a creative partner at New York independent agency Opperman Weiss.

The Dawson Pickering venture will dissolve following his departure.

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