McCann's Ben Coulson becomes Dentsu Creative's CCO

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 26 September 2023
Ben Coulson

Dentsu Creative has appointed Ben Coulson chief creative officer for ANZ.

The appointment follows the departure of Mandie van der Merwe and Avish Gordhan who joined Saatchi & Saatchi Australia as joint chief creative officers last week, after just a year at Dentsu Creative.

Coulson’s career has spanned roles in North America, UK, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia. Ranking among Australia’s most celebrated creative leaders of the past decade, Coulson has twice been recognised in the top five CCOs in the world at the Cannes Festival, and in the Top 10 CCOs in the world on The Won Report.

Coulson was formerly chief creative officer of HERO/McCann, Clemenger BBDO, VMLY&R, and George Patterson, where each agency rose to become Agency of the Year on multiple occasions.

He has a wealth of experience across many of the regions most respected brands such as Tourism Australia, Telstra, Qantas, Toyota, Cadbury, Coke, Frucor Suntory, Burger King, Schweppes, Corona, Carlton United Breweries, AFL, Australian Defence Force, Mastercard, Visa, Menulog, Microsoft, eBay, Unilever, GSK, Monash Uni, Melbourne Uni, Wrigley’s, Cottees, Mars, & Vegemite.

Coulson has been recognised with both Cannes & D&AD Agency of the year titles, has three times won ANZ network of the year at Cannes and Spikes, and most awarded agency in APAC at the One Show.

Dentsu Creative group shot

Dentsu Creative group shot - Cate Stuart-Robertson (chief client officer), Ben Coulson (chief creative officer), Kirsty Muddle (CEO), David Halter (chief strategy officer) and Katie Firth (Melbourne MD).

Coulson said Dentsu have the capability to deliver creativity well beyond traditional methods.

"They are quietly assembling a squad of very talented people, and the global network is catching fire (2nd in APAC on the CB list last week). All compelling reasons for me to crash this party," Coulson said.

Kirsty Muddle, chief executive officer at Dentsu Creative ANZ, said Coulson will accelerate the agency agenda to make great work.

"Work that demonstrates what Dentsu can do for brands and businesses when we harness all of our capability, media, experience, technology, data, and gaming. He has the experience and credentials to get us there," Muddle said.

Coulson starts with Dentsu Creative in December and will report into Kirsty Muddle.

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