Darren Spiller is leaving the agency he joined eighteen months ago. He was was Host/Havas’ first chief creative officer. Spiller’s role will not be replaced, instead, his duties will be shared between the agency’s executive creative directors, Seamus Higgins, Ant Melder and Jon Austin.
Havas Group merged two of its advertising agencies, Havas and Host, to create Host/Havas in October 2017. Spiller, who had been chief creative officer of Host at the time, became CCO of the combined agency. He had left DDB Melbourne two months before, after a stint of five years.
Spiller joined DDB Melbourne in 2012 as executive creative director, replacing Grant Rutherford. He was promoted to CCO in February 2015, during a major creative restructure for the agency. Before DDB, Spiller had been chief creative officer of Fallon in Minneapolis in the US for three years from 2009 and regional creative director of Publicis Mojo Australia and New Zealand prior to that.
“We are approaching the first birthday for Host/Havas and by any measure, it’s been an excellent 12 months. It was always my intention to help deliver the successful integration of Host and Havas Sydney before stepping aside to allow others to take it forward,” Spiller commented.
“The agency is in the shape of its life, so now feels like the right time for that to happen. The ECDs are incredibly talented and more than capable of taking the reins, and I wish them all the very best,”
Host/Havas has had a spectacular awards year, winning top international awards for the Palau Pledge campaign. It was AWARD Agency of the Year in May and won a D&AD Black Pencil and three Grand Prix at Cannes Lions, including the Titanium Grand Prix.
But its year of doing business has not been quite as wonderful. The agency’s biggest client, Defence Force Recruiting, is currently reviewing its creative account in advance of Host/Havas’ contract ending at the beginning of next year. In June, the agency lost Red Rooster and Oporto to Leo Burnett.
Laura Aldington, chief executive officer of Host/Havas, commented, “I have been lucky enough to call Daz both a great friend and a great colleague over the years. It has been a genuine pleasure to partner with him again in the creation of Host/Havas and I am grateful for everything he has done to set us up for success. He leaves us in very safe hands with a formidably talented line up of creative leaders, and I’m excited about where they’ll take us next.”
Anthony Freedman, chairman of Havas Group, added, “I would like to thank Darren for his passion, commitment and creativity and wish him every success in whatever adventures lie ahead.”