Laird + Partners Adds 2 To Leadership Team

Two industry executives are joining Laird + Partners in newly created positions to help the shop continue its growth to a fully integrated agency.

First, Manuel Frei joins as executive creative director. He will be responsible for directing creative activities across the agency’s offerings that will enable clients, such as Tommy Hilfiger and Estee Lauder, to effectively tell powerful and integrated brand stories. He will report to Trey Laird, Chief Creative Officer.

Most recently, Frei was Chief Creative Officer and brand director at Bally, where he was responsible for all facets of creative direction, including the implementation, development and execution of the brand’s new creative vision, its e-commerce website and the brand’s global integrated advertising campaigns. Prior to that, he served as a creative and strategic advisor at Moncler Group and spent four years as Editor-in-Chief of GQ Germany.



Meanwhile, Mike Karam was named head of digital and integrated strategy. He will be responsible for helping to establish and lead the digital strategy practice, as well as integrating digital into all of the agency’s practice areas.

Additionally, Karam will work closely with Laird + Partners’ executive leadership team to bolster its planning process and apply it across the agency to build collaboration and integration between creatives, designers, strategists and technologists. Karam will report to Jennifer O’Brien, vice president, director of strategic Planning.

He joins Laird + Partners from 360i, where he was group strategy director. With more than 10 years of experience building brands, Karam is a "market-disruptor, digital innovator and proven thought-leader whose work has transformed brands and delivered impactful business results," say agency executives.
Both will be based in New York.

“This is an exciting time for Laird + Partners. As experts in creative communications it is very important that how we communicate on behalf of brands and as an agency is genuine and reflects our world and how we live,” said Paul Donaher, president of Laird + Partners.

“In today’s digital world, it’s important that we lead our clients through all the noise to ensure that their brands’ story is brought to life with a singular style, regardless of the medium. With Manuel’s and Mike’s leadership and experience in developing creative executions, digital solutions and strategic positioning for brands, we will continue to thrive and pursue new opportunities where visual sophistication can enhance brands’ consumer experiences, disrupt their categories and drive business results,” he added.

The MDC-owned agency has recently developed a partnership with Four Season Hotels and Resorts and launched new work for clients including Jockey, Calvin Klein and Banana Republic.

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