Digitas Promotes Scott Donaton to Global Chief Creative and Content Officer

Ronald Ng is leaving the agency and will be replaced by the former Ad Age editor

Donaton joined the agency from UM in 2015. Getty Images
Headshot of Patrick Coffee

Publicis Groupe’s Digitas has made a major leadership change by promoting longtime Ad Age publisher and former content lead Scott Donaton to the newly-created chief creative and content officer position.

In a statement, the agency said that Donaton will move to combine its creative and content teams under a new “Connected Creative” capability while reporting to global brand president Michael Kahn.

“Our unified creative and content practice will develop, produce and share brand stories that are worthy of people’s time and a brand’s dollars. Those stories and experiences can take any shape,” read a statement from Donaton, who launched the network’s Digitas Studios production division after joining as content chief in 2015. He had previously held the same role at UM.

The news comes just over one month after veteran creatives Atit Shah and Andrew Carlson were chosen to succeed Digitas North America global CCO Ronald Ng, who will now be leaving the organization in August.

“I leave this bad-ass agency as it continues to climb to greater heights as a Publicis Media agency,” Ng wrote. “As I reflect on the last 3-plus years here, our successes are nothing short of wondrous. Yet, I’m most proud of our unicorns who work so hard to create transformational ideas for our amazing client partners day in, day out! And I can’t think of a better person than Scott who will now lead the content and creative practice.”

Ng declined to comment on his next job but implied that more information would be forthcoming. A note sent to all staff this morning confirmed his departure.

“In the wake of Ronald’s note, I wanted to reach out and share with you how energized I am by the opportunity to lead our unified creative and content practice, and how much I will need your passion, talent and support to succeed in this new role,” wrote Donaton in his own internal memo. He went on to state that Connected Creative would work on all sorts of materials “from 280-character tweets to 60-second anthems, VR journeys to live experiences, text-based articles to 90-minute documentaries.”

Moving forward, Donaton wrote that he would “rely heavily on Andrew, Atit and all of our creative and content leaders” to define the agency’s new mission.

The announcement marks the next step in a gradual shift as Publicis transforms Digitas into a more media and production-focused organization. Late last year, the group became part of Publicis Media before dropping the LBi from its name.

Before joining UM in 2009, Donaton spent two decades in publishing, including 11 years as editor and publisher of Ad Age. He held similar positions at trade publications TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly.

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.