BBDO Taps Former Ogilvy Executive as Chief Innovation Officer of Europe, Mars Global Account

By Lindsay Rittenhouse 

BBDO Europe chief innovation officer Mark Lainas who also carries that title for Mars.

Omnicom-owned BBDO has hired Mark Lainas, formerly of Ogilvy London, as chief innovation officer of the network’s Europe division and global chief innovation officer for Mars.

In his role at BBDO Europe, the agency said Lainas will work across the network to ensure that the local U.K. hub “capability and client work continues to be fit for the future” in regards to innovation, creativity and effectiveness. He will also be tasked with driving innovation for BBDO’s largest global client, CPG conglomerate Mars, spanning all of its brands and markets.

One area of focus for Lainas will be implementing a “data-first creative” strategy for Mars, according to BBDO.

“I couldn’t be happier to be joining the most creative network in the world,” Lainas said. “BBDO’s work over the recent years speaks for itself and to have the opportunity to focus much of my time on the Mars business and its amazing stable of brands is a great privilege.”

Lainas hails from Ogilvy London, where he spent six years, most recently as chief innovation officer and managing director. While there, he was responsible for the agency’s dedicated behavioral interventions hub, Ogilvy Change, and its performance social media arm, the Social Lab.

A person with knowledge of the matter said Lainas actually departed Ogilvy a few months ago, around the time the WPP-owned agency unveiled a massive restructuring of its operations that was concentrated in the U.S. but which global CEO John Seifert called the “Next Chapter.”

Ogilvy declined to comment on Lainas’s exit so the circumstances around his departure are unclear.

Lainas will be based in BBDO’s London office, reporting to St. John Walshe, managing director of Europe.

“Our agency CEOs and clients are challenged with constant change,” Walshe said in a statement. “Some of it transformative but other parts massively distracting. Mark’s hire is an investment by us in ensuring that BBDO clients benefit from deep strategic partnership and a full spectrum of services at both a global and local level.”