Advertising People on the Move

Nick Gill splits BBH London ECD role between deputies to work 'free of any executive responsibilities'


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

July 11, 2017 | 3 min read

Nick Gill is stepping down from his role of executive creative director of BBH London after a decade leading the department, he hands off to deputy ECDs Ian Heartfield and Anthony Austin.

BBH London

Ian Heartfield and Anthony Austin split the ECD role

Gill stays at the company with Pelle Sjoenell, worldwide chief creative officer of BBH, claiming the shakeup means that Gill “can point his enormous talent exclusively at the work, free of any executive responsibilities.”

He added: “This is also a great moment to pass the baton to Ian and Ant, whose names are all over the brilliant work coming out of Kingly Street.”

Grand Prix winner Heartfield has been at the company since 2010 and has creative directed multiple projects whereas Austin joined in 2015 from Mother to launch Black Sheep Studios, the agency’s production and entertainment arm. Both served as deputy ECD’s since July 2016 too.

On the promotion, Gill said: “Making this decision has been very easy, because I have such affection and admiration for my two worthy successors. Ant and Ian are very different people, they bring very different skills to the table. But they are totally aligned in their ambition for BBH, and they complement each other brilliantly.”

Gill will meanwhile commit to directing two of the agency’s largest accounts, Tesco and Barclays, in addition to freeing up time to develop additional creative work after a decade at the helm. BBH London claims the new role will enable Gill to write and creative direct much more while also continuing to coach creatives.

Ben Fennell, chief executive of BBH London said: “I'm predicting that Nick is about to begin a hugely productive and rewarding part of his career. I know how much fire he has in his belly, and how powerful he is when he writes.”

On what Gill’s elusive job title should be, Fennell honestly concluded: “We thought long and hard about a new job title for Nick, but in the end we all agreed that his title should simply be Nick Gill, creative.”

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