The Mission Marketing Group has named James Clifton as group chief executive, stepping up from agency Big Dog.
Clifton will take on the newly created role with immediate effect working alongside chairman David Morgan with responsibility for ‘leading and building the mission brand throughout its next phase of growth and delivering sustainable shareholder value.’
Clifton began Big Dog in 2008 before its acquisition by the group four years later when he also joined the board.
He was recently appointed the chair of the group’s Integrated Agencies Business Unit as well as becoming chief executive of another part of the business, Pathfindr.
David Morgan said: “We have been through a period of significant growth, expanding through complementary acquisitions, broadening our range of services, geographic spread and sector expertise. James’s appointment as Group CEO will ensure that we are able to both capitalize on the success that we’ve achieved and continue to build one of the most dynamic and successful groups in the UK.
"He is a strong leader, with his effective stewardship of Big Dog seeing the agency achieve excellent client retention, a series of significant business wins and a record trading year in 2018. I’m immensely proud of everything we’ve accomplished to date and I’m looking forward to working with James to take our success to the next level.”
Clifton added: “It is well documented that we are in uncertain times, especially in the Advertising industry. But while other Groups have been struggling, 2018 saw The Mission [Group] deliver its eighth consecutive year of growth. Thanks to our unique proposition and quality of talent I believe we have the opportunity to significantly increase in size, reach and capability in the coming years. Clients want agencies that are versatile enough to help them achieve their ambitions in an ever-changing landscape.“
Clifton will step down from his role as chief executive of Big Dog but will provide support to the management, as well as other businesses in the group. A successor at the agency is expected soon, The Drum understands.
Meanwhile, the group has announced annual revenue growth of 13% to £78.8m for 2018 with headline pre-tax profit up by 22% to £9.5m.