DDB Sydney promotes Tara Ford to chief creative officer

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 25 September 2019

DDB Sydney has promoted its executive creative director Tara Ford to chief creative officer.

The announcement makes Ford the first female chief creative officer of a major Australian advertising agency.

Since joining DDB two years ago, Ford has driven creative excellence for the agency’s clients, including McDonald’s, Virgin Australia and Volkswagen. 

She also holds hundreds of awards under her belt for both creativity and effectiveness including a Cannes Grand Prix.

“I’m exhilarated to take on this new role at DDB. It has been a superb environment to flourish and learn," Ford says.

"The talented people here have been incredibly supportive, special thanks to Ben and the team. We have some amazing clients who desire world-class creative. This is a killer combination. I’m genuinely excited about where we can take the agency next.”

Throughout her career, she has worked in agencies across London, Amsterdam, Melbourne and Sydney, including Wieden + Kennedy and TBWA.

Additionally, Ford is passionate about giving back to the industry, mentoring young creative talent through the Cannes ‘See It Be It’ program, RARE and AWARD School.

She is also a member of the AWARD Committee and on board of the Communications Council.

Ben Welsh, who recently expanded his remit to national chief creative officer across the Sydney and Melbourne offices, says it was a natural decision to elevate Ford into the new position.

“Tara has been a fearless leader to the creative department in her time at DDB and still the best hire I’ve ever made in my 30-year career," Welsh says.

"She has attracted great talent to the agency and is a role model to creatives in DDB and the wider industry.”

DDB Sydney managing director Priya Patel says Ford's promotion highlights how "serious" the agency is about creativity.

"We believe creativity is the most powerful force in business and Tara plays an instrumental role in achieving our mission of being the most creative agency in Australia," Patel says.

The move follows Damon Stapleton’s appointment to DDB regional AUNZ chief creative officer in July this year.

DDB Sydney also recently elevated Tim Woolford and Tommy Cehak to creative partners.

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