Treacy departs Proximity in wake of merger with Rapp

john_treacy2Proximity London executive creative director John Treacy is stepping down from his role after seven years at the helm of the creative department, becoming the first high profile departure in the wake of the agency’s merger with Rapp.

The move, which paves the way for Rapp’s creative officer Al Mackie to take control of the combined creative team, follows Omnicom’s decision to merge the two agencies under the Rapp moniker.

Under the new structure, Rapp global chief executive Marco Scognamiglio takes the top role, while Proximity global CEO Mike Dodds becomes boss of Rapp EMEA. Proximity’s 24 operations around the world are being folded into Rapp’s 19 offices.

The UK business will be led by Chris Freeland, as executive chairman, and Gabby Ludzker as CEO.

Treacy started his career as a freelance graphic designer in 1994, before joining Joshua in 1996. But his career took off when he switched to AIS London in 2000, where, along with creative partner Dan Colley, he won industry plaudits for work on Seeboard Energy (now EDF), as well as Skoda, BMW and O2.

The pair quit in 2003 to join the launch team at Elvis, set up by MCBD. Colley left in 2006 and, after spells at JWT, DDB, Rapp, and freelancing, now works at VCCP Retail.

Treacy remained Elvis executive creative director until 2013, when Dodds – then boss of Proximity London – pinpointed him as the man to succeed Caitlin Ryan, who had quit to join Karmarama earlier that year. She is now at Facebook.

Treacy, whose awards’ haul also includes Cannes Lions, D&AD, DMA and MAA awards, posted on LinkedIn: “I got an amazingly simple brief from the brilliant Cilla Snowball when she interviewed me for the job as ECD at Proximity: ‘If you do one thing you must make sure Proximity is back at the awards.’

“Well, seven years and nearly 200 of them later, hopefully she’ll agree that’s one brief that got cracked. In the last 12 months alone we’ve been the most awarded agency globally at The Echos, won 5 DMA golds, 3 Caples, a One show merit (at least) and as of last Friday, another D&AD nomination.

“But as the Proximity brand fades away and the agency heads in a different direction, it’s time for me to do the same. So a big thank you to everyone past and present at Prox who made my time there so special.

“Now, however, it’s time for a well-earned break. But I’ll definitely be back after.”

Ludzker said: “JT smashed the brief we gave him at the start of his career at Proximity by winning nearly 200 creative awards globally, including a Cannes Gold Effectiveness Lion. JT found and nourished an incredibly talented team who we cherish. We’re sad to see him go but can’t wait to see what he achieves next, no doubt gold dust!”

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