Grayling rolls out creative services division, hires former M&C Saatchi PR creative director

Grayling has launched a new creative services division, IGNITE, and hired new creative director Julian Cirrone, who joins from M&C Saatchi PR.

 The IGNITE leadership team: Alex Martin, Nathan Kemp and Julian Cirrone
The IGNITE leadership team: Alex Martin, Nathan Kemp and Julian Cirrone

The IGNITE team comprises a 10-strong team of planners, creatives and designers in London, supported by creative pairs in each of Grayling’s offices in nine cities across the UK.

It will be led by head of creative and planning Nathan Kemp.

The IGNITE team will be responsible for strategic planning, creative development and content creation, with an in-house studio providing a suite of design and production services. Other services include strategy and creative workshops, focus groups, trends analysis and stakeholder mapping.

The team will work across Grayling’s existing clients serviced from its London HQ – including PokerStars, Molson Coors, Visa and Amadeus – as well M&S, HSBC and The Ivy Collection restaurants, which are serviced from the agency’s eight offices outside of London. The team will also be "heavily involved" in new business pitches.

Talent for the IGNITE team has been recruited externally and through a number of internal moves. 

Grayling has also signed a partnership with the Brixton-based advertising school – The School of Communication Arts – which will allow IGNITE to collaborate with up to 40 up-and-coming creatives.

The IGNITE team has also set up a countrywide panel to test ideas and gather insight on a rolling basis. Called 4Points, the panel includes a wide variety of people, from farmers to football fans and publicans to politicians.

Escaping the ‘London bubble’ 

Cirrone – a PRWeek creative mentor – left M&C Saatchi PR in July and has previously been a creative director at Lewis and held senior roles at Frank, Freuds and One Green Bean. 

At M&C Saatchi PR, he worked on accounts including EE, The FCA, The Co-Op and Footlocker. 

He will work alongside newly appointed strategy director Alex Martin, who was previously in the agency’s consumer division.

Kemp said it was important for Grayling’s creative services team to have local creatives, rather than being confined to the ‘London bubble’.

"Cultures differ by city; behaviours by borough; and people by postcode. Our creative thinking needs to reflect that. Our clients want true local knowledge, and not just perspectives from a London bubble," he said. 

"By setting up a team that draws on creative talent based in multiple locations, we are able to mine our local networks for powerful insight, which leads to ideas and campaigns that truly resonate with different audiences, be they political stakeholders, businesses or consumers, wherever they may be."

Grayling UK & Europe CEO Sarah Scholefield said: "We truly believe in building and fostering a creative culture across all of the Grayling UK offices. We are committed to investing in this across the UK because it genuinely creates greater advantage for our clients. 

"The launch of the IGNITE team and the creative infrastructure we’ve established continues to drive that. We’re already seeing positive results, with a number of competitive new business and organic wins under our belts."

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