LBi recruits Farouk as MD

EXCLUSIVE: UK-based digital agency LBi has appointed Deepend's Adrian Farouk as managing director of its Australian operations as it looks to move the local market forward.

Farouk has joined LBi after eight years at independent digital agency Deepend, most recently as group strategy director. He has previously worked at BRR Digital in New Zealand and Oyster Digital (now LBi) and IBM in the UK.

He will lead LBi's local plans along with senior account director Shailei Forrester. LBi established its Sydney office in November last year. It is currently working with four of its global clients in Sydney but declined to name them for the moment.

Farouk told AdNews: “LBi has an incredible reputation worldwide, it's seen to be at forefront of digital. It's exciting to bring the insight and expertise of the network to the Australian market for all the Australian brands who want to take it to the next level.”

LBi worldwide client services director Laurent Ezekiel said the local market has received LBi's offerings with enthusiasm. He said: “The market is cluttered and at times, confused. The pace of change is phenomenal and we believe we can deliver on our market entry promise to work with clients in shaping the digital future and the future of digital.”

Ezekiel said there is great work coming out of Australian digital agencies but the market tends to be very campaign-driven. “I think Australia is at an earlier stage of the digital journey and therefore not in a position to truly innovate, yet.

"From an e-commerce point of view, there is an enormous amount of work to do in Australia, from a campaign perspective, budgets are skewed toward more traditional media. This will change in time and we would like to ride this wave of change.”

He said of Farouk's appointment: “We were looking for someone who had the vision, breadth and depth of knowledge to carry LBi's 'What's Next' ethos forward in the market. Adrian comes with extremely solid operational and strategic qualities and understand the importance of combining digital with data, analytics and CRM.”

Deepend chief executive Matt Griffin told AdNews: “Adrian has worked tirelessly with us for over eight years and the culture he has helped create at Deepend is a testament to him.”

Deepend will announce Farouk's replacement shortly.

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