Publicis UK has promoted Publicis London chief executive Karen Buchanan to the newly created role of chairman of Publicis London and chief client development at Publicis UK, while co-founder and chief executive of Poke Nick Farnhill will take on her previous responsibilities at the London shop.
Both Buchanan and Farnhill will work closely with the rest of the Publicis UK management team and will report to Guy Wieynk, who leads the group’s UK and Western Europe divisions.
Buchanan’s promotion is in recognition of a stellar 2016 at the helm of the London business, which saw it bag accounts for P&G Dish, Morrisons, YOPA as well as Heineken global digital work. Given these success, she will also oversee client relationships across all Publicis UK’s group of agencies.
She is succeeded by Farnhill, who will continue to serve as chief executive of Poke, and is tasked with bolstering the group’s digital work across its clients. He will be assisted by fellow Poke founder and creative director Nik Roope, who has also been given a broader remit that includes leading the global creative for the Heineken account, which will span both Poke and Publicis UK.
Buchanan said: "We’ve made great progress over the last two years, which is down to the strong, integrated and collaborative nature of Publicis UK. Now feels like a good time to build on that momentum. My new role will allow me the opportunity and greater access to take us a step further in ensuring we have the best integrated solutions to offer all of our clients. Nick and I have been working closely, he has built a force of creativity within Poke and has the ability to fulfill Publicis London’s commitment to applying digital to the heart of everything we do for our clients."
Farnhill added: "Poke continues to develop and grow brilliantly which is a credit to the whole team and I’m excited to see it evolve further. I’m also equally excited to work even more closely with Karen and drive both Publicis London and Poke to deliver on our shared digital ambitions for Publicis UK."
The announcements are the latest in a management rejig across Publics Groupe, which has seen high-profile promotions, appointments and departures over the last several months. Most noteworthy of those, was the announcement in January that Publicis Communications' chief executive Arthur Sadoun would succeed Maurice Levy, the group’s boss.