AKQA Names Martin Cedergren ECD For Dutch Office

AKQA just got a little more global: The digital shop named Martin Cedergren executive creative director for its newly opened office in Amsterdam. AKQA already has offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.

The award-winning Cedergren is currently ranked as the third-best interactive creative in the world, according to the Scandinavian advertising publication Résumé's ranking of the Top 50 Creatives. Cedergren will also become part of AKQA's Creative Council, joining other top-ranked creative executives Lars Bastholm, Rei Inamoto and PJ Pereira.

"I think our desire is to create an integrated agency that embraces offline and online communications that requires you to think beyond any narrow definition of today's advertising," said Cedergren in an e-mail message to OnlineMediaDaily. "Amsterdam is a huge melting pot in the creative industry. It will be interesting to draw on influences from all the talent working there."

Cedergren has worked in advertising and interactive marketing for more than 12 years. For the last five years, he was interactive creative director at Forsman&Bodenfors, known as the Goodby, Silverstein and Partners of Scandinavia. While there, he worked on brands including Volvo, adidas, IKEA, MTV, MyTravel, Nokia, Atari and Yahoo, and served on the juries of the Cannes Lions, One Show, Clio Awards, Webby Awards, London International Advertising Awards and the Swedish National Advertising Awards.

Prior to Forsman&Bodenfors, Cedergren founded the Stockholm-based digital agency Starlet Deluxe, which later merged with the pan-European digital agency Abel&Baker working on adidas, Nokia and MTV. Cedergren was recently entitled "The most important digital creative" by the readers of the Swedish ad-paper Indikat.

Tom Bedecarre, CEO of AKQA, said he'd tried to recruit Cedergren for two years. "It's another hiring coup for us. Martin is another one of these guys who single-handedly could be a chief creative officer at any one of our competitors, but instead of choosing to go someplace else, he chose to come to AKQA," Bedecarre said.

In adding more creative talent to its roster, AKQA has signaled that it has taken cross-platform digital storytelling seriously. It recently bulked up its media capability and continues to grow its New York office. AKQA works closely with Nike's European headquarters, which are in Amsterdam; Unilever and Diageo also have big bases in the city.

Cedergren has racked up more than 75 major advertising awards, including eighteen Cyber Lions in Cannes (one Grand Prix, four Golds, four Silvers and nine Bronzes), nine Clio Awards and four One Show pencils. AKQA was OMMA magazine's Agency of the Year for 2006.