Draftfcb Hires New Strategy Chief

Nigel Jones comes from Publicis U.K.

New Draftfcb global CEO Carter Murray isn’t wasting any time in making change at the Interpublic Group agency. Murray, who took office this week, has named Nigel Jones, the U.K. chairman and CEO of Publicis, as chief strategy officer worldwide.

For Jones, it’s a return to Draftfcb: He was formerly president of the agency’s London operations from December 2005 until June 2008.

Jones’ 30-year career began at BMP DDB in 1994, at a time when it was widely considered the seminal influence on modern agency account planning—a practice that he oversaw. While he ran those operations, BMP DDB introduced practices like econometrics and the numerical measurement of advertising effectiveness.

“Nigel will work to help define our brand identity and help with our senior clients in driving their business forward,” Murray said. “He’ll help guide strategy across the company, help figure out where we make acquisitions and where we can break through in technology. He’s calm, incredibly thoughtful and smart—he has all the qualities to make me successful.”

Vita Harris, currently the global chief strategy officer, is shifting to evp of strategic planning and will report to Jones. 

Murray worked with Jones when the new Draftfcb CEO was chief marketing officer, worldwide account director on Nestlé at Publicis. In 2011, Jones helped Publicis win Nestlé’s Nescafé brand in the U.K.—a long-standing account of McCann Erickson—in what appeared to be a harbinger of a move of all of the brand's global business to the French company. 

At Oxford, Jones was a semi-professional chess player who gave it up when he realized he could not make it as a grand master. In addition, he writes a music blog, A Barrel of Nails, and is a regular on festival stages.

After working as head of account planning at BMP DDB, Jones was a founding partner at London’s Jones Mason Barton Antenen and then CEO of Claydon Heeley Jones Mason. 

This week Murray also said Draftfcb global chief creative officer Jonathan Harries, who had previously planned to leave at the end of the year, will stay on in that role. He also promoted Elyssa Phillips, executive vice president, worldwide creative manager, to chief of staff.