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Brave Spark creates leadership roles for strategy and new business


Kirath Pahdi


31 Jan 2024


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Brave Spark has hired Katie Mulligan, senior strategist at Wunderman Thompson (now VML), as its first strategy director, and appointed Matt Williams, global head of marketing at MSQ, its first new-business and marketing director.

Mulligan will work across the agency’s global client list alongside Brave Spark’s recently appointed executive creative director, Juliet McLaren. She will report to chief executive Rob Drake.

She spent almost three years at Wunderman Thompson, working on brands such as Avon, KitKat and Quality Street. 

Mulligan has also spent time at Grey London, The Future Factory, and WPP Black Ops, working on SK-II’s Olympic sponsorship campaign.

Drake said: “Katie is an important piece in the puzzle as we continue to raise the standards of our craft and help clients create bold, brave work that fulfils their ambitions. 

“Katie is a multidisciplinary thinker who brings both strategic rigour and a passion for creativity. She is the perfect person to help champion and deliver brilliant thinking for modern brands.”

Mulligan said: “[Brave Spark’s] collective energy and desire to do things differently compelled me to jump onboard and I can’t wait to get cracking!”

Williams will report to Drake and is tasked with implementing Brave Spark’s new proposition, bringing its growth story to a wider audience and helping the shop win new business.

He will begin the role in March, working closely with Brave Spark founders Drake and Robin Shek, as well as its recently appointed managing director, Rebecca Vickery.

Williams has worked for Brave Spark’s parent company MSQ for five years, joining in 2019 as head of content. 

He also spent seven years at Engine (now House 337), latterly as head of editorial content, and was a reporter and content editor at Campaign.

Williams said: “I’ve been enamoured with Brave Spark’s offer ever since they became part of the MSQ group. Rob and Robin have put together a wonderfully diverse team of thinkers and makers and I’ve seen at first hand the vibrancy of their output and the culture that has been created. 

“There’s a brilliant story to tell, exciting ambitions to achieve and I’m really pleased to be a part of the next stage in the journey.”

The appointments follow a period of growth for the agency, which has doubled in size in the past 18 months. It has also won clients such as Virgin Experience Days, Which?, Trivento and ThermoFisher.

The agency, which became part of MSQ in 2021, opened Brave Spark New York – its first overseas office – in August. 

It made further senior appointments including Rita Diria, a business director who joined from McCann London, and Beatrice Hug, who joined as a design lead from Karma Drinks.

Shek added: “Brave Spark has been on a phenomenal journey and our philosophy has always been to build an agency that’s at the cutting edge, with fresh thinking that helps clients solve the challenges they face in dynamic ways.

“Bringing in new talent like Katie and Matt is another important step – they’re collaborative, energetic and bursting with ideas, which is exactly what we’re looking for as we keep evolving our modern, vibrant leadership team."

This article first appeared on Campaign here.

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