Reports from our company leaders

J. Walter Thompson

Report by Tamara Ingram (left)
Chief executive officer

Also pictured: Matt Eastwood (top left), Chief global creative director; Dan Khabie (bottom right), Chief executive officer, Mirum; and Stefano Zunino (top right), Chief executive officer, J. Walter Thompson Latin America and chairman, Mirum


am both excited and honoured to be leading a company with more than 151 years of delivering Pioneering Solutions to its clients.

As a network of pioneers, J. Walter Thompson has an innate thirst for transformation that has fuelled the agency’s momentum over the last year.

I am eager to continue that journey, and Matt Eastwood, our worldwide chief creative officer, along with Guy Murphy, our worldwide planning director, have led the launch of our new North Star, a new agency creative process that will elevate our creative product and ensure that we develop more Pioneering Solutions for our clients.

In pursuing that goal, I absolutely believe that the diversity of people and diversity of spirit will produce diversity of ideas that will serve as our guideposts as we move forward.

The ‘Promise of Cuba’ is the first major agency report to explore emerging opportunities for North American brands

Harnessing that diversity of ideas was integral to the launch of J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, a new specialised practice offering a unique blend of research, innovation and data analytics. Central to the practice is the Innovation Group, our trends forecasting consultancy. The Group has offered our client partners invaluable insight into consumer behaviors in ‘The Future 100,’ ‘Generation Z – Brazil,’ and most recently, the ‘Promise of Cuba,’ the first major agency report to explore emerging opportunities for North American brands in the country since the normalisation of US-Cuba diplomatic relations.

Adding to our intellectual capital, we launched Female Tribes, a global initiative that represents our largest effort yet in provoking real change in the conversations that brands have with and about female consumers.

And, of course, in today’s business landscape, delivering Pioneering Solutions requires deep digital and tech expertise. In 2015, we saw Mirum, our global digital agency network, mark its milestone first anniversary.

Mirum has hit its stride and truly blossomed under the fantastic leadership of Dan Khabie. It has not only been an incredible collaborative partner for the clients it shares with J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, but it’s also put its unique stamp on work for clients of its own: Mirum led the development of Hum, Verizon’s connected vehicle platform, from inception to product launch.

This unified network added Mazda and Getty to its client roster in North America, expanded its relationship with Qualcomm globally, picked up ASUS in Asia, and Dubai Tourism in MEA; and was named a Visionary in Gartner’s Digital Marketing Services Magic Quadrant Report.

Mirum also grew in India, where Social Wavelength joined the global digital network as Mirum India.

To feed this always-on digital world, we added to our solutions toolkit with Colloquial, our new content-marketing joint venture with Group SJR that is up and running in Mexico City, Sydney, London and New York.

And we continued to bolster our leadership team to support our growth objectives.

Stefano Zunino was appointed to the newly created role of CEO of the Americas, overseeing Colloquial, Mirum and J. Walter Thompson in the North America and Latin America regions.

Maria Teresa Arnal was appointed CEO of J. Walter Thompson Company in Mexico, a testament to our commitment to deep transformation and the integration of communications and digital innovation in Latin America. 

We also fortified our creative bench-strength, elevating Brent Choi to CCO of our New York and Canada offices, and naming Senthil Kumar as the regional CCO and creative partner to Tarun Rai, CEO of J. Walter Thompson South Asia. 

And we’ve invested in training the next generation of creative leaders. Our international Helen Lansdowne Resor (HLR) Scholarship, launched in support of young female creative talent, also saw its first group of scholarship winners last summer.

New business and organic growth were equally robust, with wins throughout the global network, including Abbott, AstraZeneca, Apollo, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cargill, Challenger, Cobra Puma Golf, Crabtree & Evelyn, Dubai Tourism, Egypt Tourism, FindIt Malaysia,, JP Morgan Private Bank, Special K, KPMG, Northwell Health and Treasury Wine Estates, among others. 

2015 saw some of the most significant growth in our 151-year history. We expanded our roster of multinational clients, diversified our offering and broadened our talent base.

We created ideas that better connected to human truths and unleashed the strength of our creative potential; and ultimately, grew our clients’ businesses. 

As we look forward to 2016, we will put diversity at the top of our agenda and continue bolstering our creative product in order to deliver Pioneering Solutions to our clients.