Darren Spiller joins Host as first chief creative officer

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 25 January 2017
Darren Spiller

Former DDB Melbourne chief creative officer Darren Spiller has joined Host as its first chief creative officer.

Spiller left DDB after five years at the end of 2016 to pursue “international creative opportunities”, but will join Host’s team in Surry Hills.

“I was all set for another overseas adventure and had a number of conversations underway in Europe and the US," Spiller says.

"However, after my chat with Anthony and Laura, it became clear that what I thought I would have to go half way around the world for was actually on offer in Sydney. Host is a home-grown success story that’s stayed the distance. They’re riding high at the moment and it seems the perfect time to pitch in and build on recent successes.”

Host’s executive creative director Bob MacKintosh recently departed the business after a decade at the agency. His role will now be absorbed by Spiller as well as three other creative directors, AdNews understands.

Spiller is a big hire for Host, which last year won accounts, including XXXX Gold, James Boag, Tooheys Extra Dry, James Squire, Red Rooster, Oporto, Star Entertainment Group, Subaru and Visit California.

Host founder and Group CEO, Anthony Freedman, says: "I have known Darren for a long time and quietly always hoped we might work together one day. Firstly and most importantly, he is great guy who sees the world as we do, but he’s also one of Australia’s most experienced creative leaders with an impeccable track record - and the best qualified person we could have brought into Host to help us to develop the most exciting creative content in Australia.”

During a career of more than 20 years, Spiller has worked across clients including Nike, Nestlé, Tourism Victoria, NBC, H&R Block and Lion.

Back in 2016, Spiller was the first creative to kick off a slew of ECD exits. Some 10 days after his announcement Clemenger ECD Paul Nagy handed in his notice, with Y&R chief creative officer Ben Coulson named as his successor. M&C Saatchi chief creative officer Andy DiLallo also announced he would depart the agency after less than two years. His replacement is yet to be named.

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