Said Differently Appoints Josh Combs as Chief Marketing Officer

By Kyle O'Brien 

Global creative services agency Said Differently has appointed creative leader and advertising industry veteran Josh Combs as its new chief marketing officer.

Serving as the agency’s first-ever CMO, Combs will continue expanding the organization’s unique brand in the same way that Said Differently builds its clients.

Combs brings more than two decades of creative experience to Said Differently. Prior to his new position, Combs served as the in-house creative lead for Campari Groupe, where he helped reshape the creative direction of the entire whiskey portfolio. Before Campari, he held key leadership positions at agencies AKQA and Fallon.


At AKQA, Josh was the executive creative director at both the New York and Portland offices, overseeing all creative output on clients including Nike, YouTube and Verizon. At Fallon, he was the creative lead for brands including H&R Block and Quicken Loans and a key contributor to the agency winning Adweek’s Comeback Agency of the Year award. Combs’ impressive career also includes multiple years at JWT Paris, where he led campaigns for BMW and other major brands.

“We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about welcoming Josh Combs to help lead our next chapter of growth,” said Rachel Barek, founder and CEO of Said Differently in a statement. “We’ve spent our first years proving that there’s a better alternative to the industry status quo—one that serves clients scale-ably and empowers talent to do their best work. With the scale we’ve now achieved, Josh will be well-positioned to apply his deep understanding of brand development to help take us to the next level.”

This hire is the latest example of a continued approach to redefining every aspect of the legacy agency model. Said Differently has emerged as one of the industry’s fastest-growing challengers to traditional agencies, being named one of Adweek’s top three Fastest Growing Agencies in 2023. The global innovation consultancy is devoted to optimizing work and amplifying talent, designing teams with a lean, on-demand talent model. Since launching in 2020, Said Differently has grown its talent network to more than 3,000 creative and technology experts across the world.

Combs told ADWEEK that the state of the creative services industry is one that needs to be disrupted.

“If you’ve been in it long enough, you’ve seen the same problematic cycles repeat themselves every few years, and yet the model doesn’t really evolve to address them. That’s why I was so excited to join Rachel and (president Brian Skahan‘s) team at Said Differently. It felt like, finally, someone’s found a better way—a way that talent could be as important as the clients. There’s no denying the relationship between trusted, motivated talent and creating work that truly moves a client’s business forward. That’s why I’m excited to join, to help them build a fundamentally new model in an industry that could use a breath of fresh air,” said Combs.