James Leads Thirst's North American Expansion As Managing Director

Specialist creative agency Thirst has tapped Bailey James to lead its North American division, based in New York. She was just named North American managing director. 

Previously, James was SVP-director of client services for Turner Duckworth, where she worked with top brands such as GM, Vitamin Water, BlackRock and Samsung. 

James also worked as development director for Pearlfisher, leading top food and beverage accounts, such as redesigns for Budweiser and Campbell Soup.

The British branding pro isn't new to the U..S. She was JKR’s first state-side employee in 2012, driving U.S. growth fo a U.K creative agncy. 

James' initial focus is developing and strengthening the agency’s client roster on both sides of the Atlantic, including Remy Cointreau, Brooklyn Brewery and Boston Beer Company. 



Her long-term goal is to grow the agency across North America, finding opportunities in subcategories including low and no-alcohol and the burgeoning cannabis beverage market.

“Consumer behavior — particularly amongst millennials and Gen Z — is again driving change in the U.S. design landscape. Minimalist and stripped-back design has dominated the past decade, and consequently everything started to look the same. We’re starting to emerge from that trend, and I’m excited to see how Thirst can capitalize on that," said James. “Thirst’s commitment to telling stories through design is a real point of difference for the agency."

James’ appointment arrives alongside an executive shuffle at Thirst, with co-founders Chris Black and Matt Burns stepping into group managing directors and ECD roles. 

Black said called James' hire: “a real coup for Thirst. We have made huge strides in the U.S. working with exciting challengers, such as Buzzkill and Loverboy, as well as ongoing projects with our core portfolio of blue-chip brands on both sides of the Atlantic. Bailey shares our strategic vision for what Thirst can be."

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