Naked announced the appointment of Guy Cousins as its managing partner last week. And as he comes in the front door, highly regarded strategist and planner Simon Bird has snuck out the back for a role as the head of planning within Whybin\TBWA.“This is a massive coup for us,” says chief executive Dave Walden. “Smart thinking and clever ideas have always been a priority for Whybin\TBWA and frankly the best creative ideas invariably stem from a really smart strategy. That’s why we’ve made a commitment to continue to invest in the strategic planning area and appoint Simon to lead this part of our business into the future.”
Bird, who moved from Saatchi & Saatchi in Sydney where he conducted all the brand planning on Toyota and played an integral part in one of the most awarded campaigns of 2010, Toyota Border Control, took up the role with Naked in late 2009 and worked on all of the growing agency’s big accounts, including Fonterra, Southland Building Society, Gravity Coffee, Dairy New Zealand and Coca-Cola.
In addition, he’s also worked for Carat and Mojo on both sides of the Tasman in senior media and account planning roles and, along with Naked cohort Matt O’Sullivan, had plenty to say about the role of channel planning.
“He’s a great guy, hugely talented and will provide added resource and valuable experience to our existing team of Julie Maciver and Tracey Lee,” Walden says.