Richards Rose bolsters leadership with returning talent

By AdNews | 14 November 2023
Richards Rose leadership team from left to right; Kristen Sandberg, Tanya Hairman, Digby Richards, Alex Stainton, Joseph Smeaton, Adam Rose, Kate Lee.

Independent creative agency Richards Rose has added two new senior hires in Joseph Smeaton as head of strategy and Alex Stainton as executive creative director.

Both Smeaton and Stainton return to the agency after being away for nearly a decade, growing their skills and craft at renowned companies in Australia and the U.S.

Smeaton spent long stints at Saatchi & Saatchi and DDB Sydney where he was strategy partner, heading up strategy for McDonald’s Australia for three years.

He has worked on major brands including Westpac, St. George, Ladbrokes, Dairy Farmers, Foxtel, OPSM, and Toyota.

Smeaton said he remembers walking into the agency when it was just Digs, Rosey and a couple of trestle tables.

"It is wonderful to be back and see all they have built over the years. I’m excited to re-join the team to help our partners’ grow and our agency along with them," he said.

Stainton, who has created award-winning work at DDB and Ogilvy, departed Australia for San Francisco in 2014. He worked as a creative director at BBDO on brands such as HP, Mars, Mattel and Facebook before making the move client-side in 2018.

At Ancestry he served as creative director for international markets, before moving up to ECD, responsible for creative and marketing across the USA as well as Ancestry’s in-house creative teams and partners around the world.

During his career he has created two campaigns with decade-plus lifespans, and one which regularly features as a case study for marketing students.

Stainton said he's delighted to be back.

"I’ve been admiring Richards Rose from afar (but not in a creepy way) as the guys have steadily added new talent to their brilliant team," he said.

"There’s some magic to the place that allows them to consistently deliver outsized impact for the brands they partner with, as evidenced by all those Effie awards. Now I’m looking forward to being part of an exciting new chapter.”

Digby Richards, CEO and Adam Rose, chief creative officer, said both Smeaton and Stainton are at the top of their game and will help Richards Rose deliver outstanding work for its growing client roster.

"Beyond being genuinely great people, Joseph brings razor sharp strategic clarity and Alex brings a fresh creative view, especially having been in a client-side creative leadership role. The guys are already making a real impact," said Richards.

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