EssenceMediacom, GroupM’s newest media agency that combines Essence and MediaCom, has appointed Jill Kelly as its U.S. CEO, effective Oct. 1.
GroupM announced the merger of the two media agencies in April and a first round of leadership appointments was announced in May, including the appointment of Nick Lawson as Global CEO.
Kelly previously served as GroupM’s Global CMO. She will lead the merged U.S. operation, which officially launches in January 2023.
MediaCom U.S. CEO, Sasha Savic, who has been in the role for the last ten years, has been promoted to EssenceMediacom’s Global Chief Innovation Officer. The firm said he would be responsible for “future-proofing” the agency by identifying opportunities that bring together its products and services for clients across the globe.
Jason Harrison, who has spent the last three years as the CEO of Essence North America, will now shift fulltime to the role of Global Chief Solutions Officer at Choreograph, the GroupM data consultancy formed last year. He’s been doing double duty for the last six months.
“I think Jill is perfect for the role of U.S. CEO at EssenceMediacom” stated Lawson, “With her conviction, creativity, and energy, along with her extensive understanding of our organization, people, and the challenges that our industry and clients face, I’m confident that she will empower the innovative vision we have for EssenceMediacom into the future.”
The culmination of Kelly’s work in the CMO was the creation of the company’s Responsible Investment Framework in 2021 to help align the business with its mission to define the next era of media where advertising works better for people.
“Bringing these performance-led, and data-and-technology-enabled brands together allows us to construct a new model purpose-built to help fuel client growth in a rapidly changing media landscape,” stated Kelly. “That’s something I am really excited about building, together with all my colleagues. Advertising should be a force for good and, given the venerable brands we get to call clients, we have an imminent and unique opportunity to shape the next era of media where advertising works better, and performs harder, for everyone.”
Prior to GroupM Kelly served as CMO of Publicis Groupe’s Digitas, where she co-founded the industry’s first Digital Content NewFronts (2012). Earlier she held leadership roles across a number Publicis Groupe brands.
Kelly serves on the ColorComm Board and was the Operating Board Chair of She Runs It, a women’s leadership organization. Over the years, she has mentored and sponsored hundreds of professionals through structured and informal forums.