MercerBell lures Vaughan Townsend from Ogilvy London

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 21 January 2020

Customer experience agency MercerBell, part of the Publicis Groupe, has appointed Vaughan Townsend as executive creative director.

Townsend replaces agency founder and ECD David Bell who stepped down at the end of last year to pursue a new business venture.

MercerBell CEO Julie Dormand says Townsend was appointed following a global search for a new creative leader.

“Townsend will help build the MercerBell creative product, driving engaging experiences driven by data and behavioural science principles,” Dormand says.

An internationally acclaimed creative with comprehensive CX experience, Townsend has worked with global brands such as Land Rover, GSK, Ikea and Boots Chemists in his 20-plus year career in advertising.

He will join the MercerBell leadership team and partner closely with executive strategy and data director Brad Bennett.

“It's an incredible honour to be asked to help write the second chapter in MercerBell’s history," Townsend says.

“I’m particularly excited by the creative opportunities a true data-driven and behavioural science approach can bring to an impressive client roster. Julie and Brad are a formidable team, and I couldn’t think of a better time to join.”

Starting out in his home country of South Africa, Townsend relocated to the United Kingdom in 1999 to work at agencies including Craik Jones, Tequila and TBWA.

He has held leadership roles more recently at M&C Saatchi, LIDA and Ogilvy London.

Townsend has received numerous international accolades across major creativity and effectiveness awards, ranging from D&AD and Cannes Lions to more data-driven award shows such as DMAs and John Caples.

“Vaughan’s experience gives him a strong fusion of CRM, CX and brand knowledge," Bennett says.

“He is passionate about the central role data and behavioural science plays, not just in CRM, but in broader advertising and his experience aligns strongly with our direction as an agency.”

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