He’s helped DraftFCB New Zealand go from middle of the road to top of the pops in pretty quick time. And now, after being promoted to the role of group executive creative director for Australia and New Zealand last year, James Mok has been given a chance to dabble in the Asia Pacific with a new regional role.
Appropriately, Mok is currently in Singapore for Spikes Asia, but, fear not, despite his increased focus on the area (“it’s going nuts and we’ve got to be paying attention to it”), he will still live in New Zealand.
“That’s where my home is,” he says.
He knows full well that creative heads are “always running hard looking after their businesses”, so his role is to be a sounding board and, along with the region’s chief operating officer Jonathan Allard, “help the local offices focus on developing a clear action plan”, something that has certainly helped the New Zealand business climb the ranks in recent years.
In this new regional role Mok will also be a member of the DraftFCB Global Creative Council and will assess the agency’s work in Asia Pacific, evaluating creative performance, mentoring for creative development and driving creative initiatives that assist the agency at the regional and local levels.
“This is a great opportunity to help grow our network’s creative footprint in APAC,” says Mok. “I already know the key creative leaders in the region and there is considerable talent in the agencies that I hope to support in any of their creative challenges.”
Since he joined the agency in 2005, Mok has been DraftFCB’s most senior creative executive in New Zealand. For the past two years the agency has been ranked the world’s number one for effectiveness in the WARC World EFFIE Index in the Government and Non-Profit category. During that time it has been awarded at Cannes, One Show, Clios, Spikes, Andy’s, AWARD, Caples and has won most effective agency at the Effies for the past two years.
“James Mok is a world-class creative leader and we are happy that the whole region will now benefit from his experience,” says Allard. “We have designed this new regional role specifically for him. He will retain his creative leadership of the Australia and New Zealand agencies and in addition help elevate our creative product throughout APAC.”
Mok’s new extended role is fully supported in New Zealand where DraftFCB has expanded its creative leadership team with the recent appointment of two new ECDs, Tony Clewett and Regan Grafton, and in Sydney with creative director, Simon Edwards. The Melbourne office was recently forced to close, however, after losing the Honda account.