TBWA Appoints New Global ECD for Nissan United

By Erik Oster 

TBWA appointed Neil Dawson as global executive creative director for Nissan United, Omincom Group’s dedicated unit for the global Nissan account.

In the role, Dawson will be responsible for all global Nissan creative and content from both Omnicom and non-Omnicom agencies. He will be based out of TBWA’s New York headquarters and report to Nissan United president Jon Castle and TBWA global creative president Chris Garbutt. Dawson’s appointment follows the departure of Nissan United chief creative officer Antonio Navas for New York-based agency Opperman Weiss last month. 

The appointment marks a return to TBWA for Dawson, who served as creative director at the agency’s London office from 2003 to 2005. He arrives at the agency from Dawson Pickering, the agency he co-founded two years ago and served as joint creative director. Dawson began his career as an art director at Leo Burnett London, later garnering attention for his work on the 1997 Volskwagen campaign “Surprisingly Ordinary Prices” while at DDB. He later led the Johnnie Walker account while creative director at BBH, creating the “Fish” spot for the agency’s “Keep Walking” campaign. In 2011, he co-founded Havas agency BETC’s London office, loudly exiting the role in 2014 before stealing his former agency’s Diet Coke client while at Dawson Pickering less than a year later. 

“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.”

“I’m thrilled that Neil is joining TBWA, and is going to lead Nissan creative globally,” added 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.”