Creative Race brings in Rob Shaw to drive expansion

Rob Shaw Headshot CRFormer Jaywing chief executive Rob Shaw has been appointed CEO at Leeds-based Creative Race, with a brief to build an agency group that truly combines creative and brand experience with the best performance, digital and data services.

Shaw left Jaywing earlier this year, having joined when the company acquired search marketing specialist Epiphany in 2014. The SEO agency had been founded in 2005 by Shane Quigley and Robin Skidmore and was led by Shaw at the time.

Shaw was promoted to CEO of the Jaywing Group in 2015 when the company had just posted a 39% increase in gross profit to £30.1m with a fourth consecutive period of Ebitda growth, up 75% on its 2014 results.

However, in 2019, it recorded a £6m slump, while just before Shaw left it saw a 20% dip in profits. Co-founder Martin Boddy quit in January.

Nevertheless during Shaw’s tenure, the agency became one of the Northern powerhouses, combining data science, digital marketing and advertising and it is this experience which has caught the eye of Creative Race chairman Gordon Bethell.

Bethell said: “While I’m incredibly proud of Creative Race and the results we’ve achieved over the past 25 years, there is now a need for a transformation into the digital environment.

“I’ve admired the success that Rob has brought to previous organisations, not only the growth, but the data, digital and technology based solutions. These now need to be a fundamental part of our integrated agency offering.”

Shaw commented: “Over the last 15 years I’ve successfully built and grown strong businesses focused around the modern needs of clients and their digital and data challenges including Latitude, Epiphany and more recently Jaywing.

“Creative Race provides the experience and heritage of supporting national and international brands across multiple stages of their consumer journeys’. This will now be combined with a world-class digital and data offering.”

“In the current environment, brands will need to punch above their weight across all channels, online and offline, with a trusted agency partner that can offer the very best creative and digital talent, underpinned with a single-minded strategic approach.

Creative Race’s clients include Asda, Greggs, NFUM and PlanetU.

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