Media Agency Initiative Hires Former Starcom Exec as Global Chief Strategy Officer

Kate Bower to 'oversee the evolution' of agency services

Full-service media agency Initiative has hired Kate Bower as global chief strategy officer, a role that will also see her run its U.S. strategic operations.

Bower previously served as strategic lead on the Samsung account at Publicis' Starcom Mediavest Group, where she held the evp of global/U.S. strategy position. While there, she led campaigns to promote all of the client's products across over 76 markets around the world by combining insights and planning, while simultaneously serving on both the agency's U.S. executive management team and its Starcom Global lineup in New York.

In the new role, she will report directly to global CEO Jim Elms. He describes her as "the embodiment of who we are and where we want to go at Initiative," adding, "Her background and work experience is incredibly diverse in both the locations where she's worked as well as the client campaigns she's shaped over the course of her career."

Bower began her agency career in London working for Unity (The Ingram Partnership) and Naked, creating communications planning projects for clients ranging from British Airways to Lucasfilm, which was at the time promoting its Star Wars prequels. She then led Starcom's strategy team in Asia, where she managed efforts for P&G before freelancing on Coca-Cola's London 2012 Olympic campaign and returning to Naked as managing partner in New York.

Over the years she has won industry plaudits for her work on such campaigns as Visa's World Cup efforts, Coca-Cola's Behaviour Change and projects for international clients like AB InBev and Mondelez.

The new strategy chief says, "I am excited to join the Initiative and IPG Mediabrands family," citing the agency's "best-in-class thinking that will challenge what it means to do 'media' for clients in this newly empowered world." 

"We are poised for greatness," Elms tells Adweek, "And with the addition of Kate we will achieve levels of success that will inspire and challenge our entire industry. Watch us."