Experience gets the nod as Wunderman signs McGrath

sid mcgrathWunderman Thompson has beefed up its senior team with the appointment of former Karmarama chief strategy officer Sid McGrath – a man with over 40 years’ industry experience – to spearhead UK strategy teams at the WPP agency.

Reporting to UK chief executive Pip Hulbert, McGrath succeeds Richard Dunn, who has held the CSO role of for both the UK and EMEA operations since 2015; he will now concentrate on the EMEA job.

McGrath started his career in 1989 as brand manager at Procter & Gamble, spending five years among the Dreft, Fairy Liquid, Pampers, Cover Girl, Max Factor brands.

In 1995, he joined JWT as a planner, then had a spell at Euro RSCG before joining HHCL as head of planning and managing director in the late Nineties – seen by many as the agency’s heyday.

McGrath managed to jump ship before it all went pear-shaped, joining Karmarama in 2006 as CSO and had been at the agency – itself launched by two former HHCL chiefs Naresh Ramchandani and Dave Buonaguidi – until last month.

At Wunderman, McGrath will lead the UK strategy department, overseeing work for clients including BT Group, HSBC, Shell, Nestlé and Duracell.

McGrath’s appointment certainly shows that WPP is not quite as ageist as global boss Mark Read would have you believe. Unless the backlash against Read’s boast, that most staff are aged under 30, has fuelled a change of heart.

Hulbert said: “Sid’s experience running two progressive and culturally rich agencies, matched with his understanding of an organisation such as Accenture makes him the perfect fit for Wunderman Thompson.

“Not only does Sid have skills to boot, but his infectious energy, enthusiasm and focus on driving growth for our clients has made him feel instantly like part of the family.”

McGrath said of Wunderman: “I’ve never encountered a company with such depth of talent, breadth of capabilities and an energy that fizzes through every discipline. There are no gimmicks or empty promises. They do what they say they will do, as one fully connected team.”

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