LONDON: Direct Line Group head of media campaigns Matt Owen has joined Burson-Marsteller, replacing Philippe Pendaries as chair of the agency's consumer practice in the UK.
Owen started work on Monday. He left the insurance group a month ago after his role was included in a wave of 2,000 redundancies.
Pendaries will leave Burson on Friday after five years to pursue an opportunity that he declined to reveal at the time of publication.
Owen got to know Burson last November when Direct Line brand Churchill dropped Martin Clunes as its ad frontman after he was disqualified from driving after a speeding charge. It brought on the agency to help it handle the story.
Burson's 12-strong consumer practice works for clients including Ford, Danone, Swissair, Invista, and Skrill. Pendaries has chaired it for the past three-and-a-half years.
Owen worked at Direct Line for six years following an agency career that included time at Lansons and iJack (later known as Brando).
“[Owen] had the combination of skills and experience in both consumer and digital campaigning that we were looking for,” said Amanda Pierce, CEO of Burson-Marsteller UK. “He has a strong track record in building teams and leading them to success, and is the first of a number of senior appointments we will be making to the new leadership team at Burson-Marsteller.”
This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.