9 November 2018

VMLY&R London confirms Iris’ Sophie Lewis as Chief Strategy Officer


Lewis will lead strategy for the newly created agency and work with clients to leverage VMLY&R’s unique integrated offering

VMLY&R London has hired Sophie Lewis as Chief Strategy Officer to help drive the success of the agency’s unique integrated offering. Lewis starts immediately and will report to Jon Sharpe, CEO Europe VMLY&R.

Lewis was previously Head of Planning at Iris and one of the 2014 winners of the IPA’s Women of Tomorrow competition. As VMLY&R’s CSO, she will work across the full portfolio of Client Partners to leverage the agency’s unique brand advertising and brand experience expertise.

Lewis will work closely with Andy Ortner, Head of Integrated Strategy, who joined VML after a decade at Deloitte and Accenture. Ortner will continue to manage the Strategy Department reporting to Lewis. The former CSO of Y&R London, Emily James will continue to work with VMLY&R as a Strategy Consultant.

With a career spanning more than 20 years in the industry, Lewis’ experience ranges from large global networks to independent creative agencies. She started at BBH in Account Management before taking on planning roles at Mother, JWT, AMV BBDO and Iris. She has worked across a number of the industry’s most high-profile campaigns including Boot’s ‘Here come the Girls’, Sainsbury’s ‘Christmas in a Day’ and Libresse’s ‘No Blood’.

VMLY&R has also bolstered its Strategy Department with the hire of three new Strategy Directors: Mike Redfern, joining from Publicis Australia where he held the same role, Jennifer Cownie, joining from TMW, and Nicky Buss, from Saatchi & Saatchi.

Jon Sharpe, CEO Europe, VMLY&R, said: “We want to hire brilliant people – and Sophie’s brilliant. Her track record of big brand-building ideas coupled with her understanding of the connected consumer experience are a perfect match for VMLY&R. She also happens to be a genuinely nice person. I’m delighted Sophie is joining our brilliant team in London and helping us to take the exciting VMLY&R proposition to market.”

Sophie Lewis added: “The unification of VMLY&R is really exciting. We are now a truly integrated offering which means we can focus on delivering transformational ideas, wherever they need to live, for our clients. I can’t wait to get stuck in as part of the amazing team Jon has assembled.”

Lewis joins the VMLY&R London Management Team comprised of Managing Director Amanda Farmer, Executive Creative Director Harsh Kapadia, Head of Integrated Strategy Andy Ortner, Co-Heads of Client Engagement Marcus Keith and Daniel Lipman, Head of Marketing and New Business, Lucy Taylor, and Chairman Mark Roalfe.

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