Rapp has lost one of its most impassioned advocates – global chief creative officer Ian Haworth – who has jumped ship after 14 years to join Wunderman to spearhead its UK and EMEA creative departments.
Industry insiders have expressed surprise at the move as most people viewed Haworth as a Rapp “lifer”, with one source saying: “He had Rapp running through his veins,” while another added: “I’m shocked he’s leaving after so long, we all thought he was there for good.”
His departure comes just over a year after the appointment of new global chief executive Alexei Orlov, although it is not known if the two are linked. The agency is also currently recruiting a chief executive to run its London office.
One of the most respected creatives in the direct marketing industry, Haworth first came to prominence when he co-founded Pearson Paul Haworth Nolan in 1989.
The legendary DM agency’s eight-year history is now industry lore and even Campaign magazine – hardly known for its love of direct marketing – conceded it was way ahead of its time, although by 1997 it had crashed out of sight.
Haworth then took up the role of creative director at Option One before moving to New Zealand for two years at Saatchi & Saatchi Direct NZ. He returned in 1999 for his first spell at Rapp (then WWAV Rapp Collins) but 18 months later had switched to Tequila as executive creative director.
Within a year he was back at Rapp for a second spell, joining as ECD to succeed George Boyter. Haworth was promoted to UK chairman in 2005 and took on the global role a year later.
At Wunderman, he will lead the UK’s creative department and, as the first EMEA ECD, will also oversee creative across the region.
Succeeding Matt Batten, who left in April, Haworth will report to Wunderman EMEA chief executive and UK chairman Mel Edwards, and UK CEO Chris Perry.
Perry said: “Ian is the perfect mix of great bloke and genius creative, and we’re really delighted to welcome him into the team.”
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