Grey's Caroline Pay to depart the ad industry for Headspace in LA

Caroline Pay,

Caroline Pay, Grey London’s joint chief creative officer, is poised to depart the advertising industry to become the chief creative officer of Headspace in LA.

It's the first time the meditation app has hired a chief creative officer. Pay will report to Headspace's co-founder and chief executive Rich Pierson from 4 September, with a remit to direct Headspace’s creative team comprising content, design, marketing and communications.

“Headspace is one of the world’s most differentiated, important and socially mission-driven brands, so being given the responsibility to guide its exciting future with groundbreaking branded content, storytelling and entertainment is a challenge I enthusiastically embrace, especially considering it’s such a remarkable chance to have a lasting, measurable impact on the lives of people everywhere," said Pay.

Leo Rayman, Grey London's chief executive, added: “Caroline is a force of nature and has brought her unmistakable creativity to Grey London. From Lucozade's ‘Energy beats Everything’ to our upcoming Met Police work, her impact is felt on every account she leads.

"The agency will be sad to see her leave, but I know she goes with all our best wishes as she takes on a new role in a different industry."

Rayman added that plans were in place to replace Pay in the co-chief creative officer role alongside Vicki Maguire.

Pay paired up with Maguire to lead Grey’s UK creative in March 2017. She joined from BBH London, where she was deputy executive creative director from 2014-16.

The duo, famed as one of ad land’s rare female creative partnerships, had previously worked together at Wieden + Kennedy. The two took to the Advertising Week Europe stage earlier this year to discuss the much-maligned importance of failing in the creative sector, and have done much to drive greater diversity in the London ad scene and beyond.

Pay, who has also worked at Karmarama and Mother, launched her career on Tony Cullingham's Watford Advertising Course.

"I had graduated and been offered a job in a below-the-line agency," she recalled. "My parents were keen I grabbed that with both hands, but I wanted to keep learning, and I’d heard of this mystical ‘Watford Course’, so had applied. I instantly regretted it as soon as I read the, now infamous, ‘copy test’.

"It was a list of insane, terrifying questions that I absolutely, positively did not know the right answer too. Only now, writing this, can I realise there was no such thing as a right answer … just my answer."

Headspace was founded in 2010 and offers guided meditation and mindfulness training online and via its app. The company currently employs just over 200 people.

Maguire commented: "I’m losing my work wife but it’s LA – and Headspace is an amazing company. They are lucky to have her."

The Drum also understands the agency's managing director, Olivia Browne, is also departing after just over a year with the company.

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