M&C Saatchi has promoted Maria Smith to the role of executive creative director. Smith fills the role after predecessor James Bray resigned for personal reasons.
In the position, Smith will lead creative for the agency’s L.A. office while working closely with CEO Huw Griffith and CSO Kate Bristow to direct the agency’s overall creative voice and output.
“Maria embodies the M&C Saatchi spirit, is an indispensible part of our team, and loved by our clients,” Griffith said in a statement.
“She has been instrumental in getting us where we are today, and is the perfect person to develop and expand the company’s vision and reach,” added Bristow.
Bray had served in the role for six years, following three years as an associate creative director and copywriter with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Prior to GS&P he served stints as a copywriter with DDB and Fallon, spending over three and a half years with each agency.
Smith joined M&C Saatchi in May of 2008 and most recently served as a creative director. While with M&C Saatchi she has worked with brands including Epson and the San Diego Zoo. Prior to joining the agency she spent over two and a half years as a copywriter with TBWA\Chiat\Day and TBWA\Tequila, working with brands including Nissan, Infiniti, Energizer and Sony.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be stepping into this role,” Smith said. “We’re living through a really interesting moment right now. We’re in the middle of an election cycle unlike any other. The world is changing. And advertising is changing.
A lot of people see a future that’s full of challenges, but I also see it as full of opportunity. I’m looking forward to being at the forefront of that charge as ECD, and working alongside a passionate and talented team that’s committed to taking M&C Saatchi to the next level.”