McCann Hires Palm-Jensen as European Innovation Officer

Swedish creative star founded Farfar

Matias Palm-Jensen, one of Sweden’s most well-regarded digital creatives and a founder of hot shop Farfar, has joined McCann Erickson as the agency’s first chief innovation officer for Europe.

Palm-Jensen currently lives in Stockholm but will be based in London. He is charged with strengthening the Interpublic agency’s digital presence and capabilities across Europe and making digital a core discipline in McCann’s creative solutions. 

Farfar, which means "grandfather" in Swedish, was the flagship of Aegis Group's Isobar digital network, working for clients like Diesel, Absolut and Nokia. It was shut down in April 2010 after Palm-Jensen and much of the agency's senior staff left it. Palm-Jensen was the last of the four founders at Fafar, sold to Aegis in 2005.

The last Farfar campaign Palm-Jensen was involved with "The world's biggest signpost" for client Nokia, which won eight Gold Lions at Cannes last year in five different categories. Fafar, founded in 2000, was a consistent high-profile winner at Cannes during its existence: Campaigns like Diesel’s "Heidies 15 MB of Fame" won a Grand Prix Lion in 2007 and the agency also won a Grand Prix Lion for client Milko with the "Music Machine" pitch.

Palm-Jensen has a PhD in law and economics and studied film at the University of Stockholm. He had an early start in digital advertising: While working for Sweden's MTG (Modern Times Group) and its media mogul owner Jan Stenbeck, Palm-Jensen developed and produced one of the first European web portals in 1992. He started his first digital agency, Spiff Industries, in 1996.

"Matias is one of the most creative minds in the business. He has the innate ability to see around corners like no one else I know. He has incredible foresight and a good, loud laugh," says Linus Karlsson, chairman, chief creative officer of McCann, London and New York, of his fellow countryman:

Palm-Jensen is the latest prominent Swede to join McCann. In addition to Karlsson, who was named to his position in November, Lotta Malm Hallqvist, returned to the agency earlier this year as the London-based chief growth officer, with global responsibilities.