A very warm welcome to Stuart Walsh

Stuart Walsh, has been appointed Chief Strategic Officer at Grey Africa. He brings with him, 20 years of experience at many of the industry’s leading agencies and on numerous bluechip clients, first as a copywriter, creative director and then as a strategist.  He also has the rare distinction of having won global awards for his creative work as well as effectiveness awards for his strategies.

Stuart Walsh

After switching from creative to strategy, he has built a reputation for himself as a no-nonsense planner with an almost-fanatical dedication to rigour and evidence and an aversion to buzzwords and jargon.  But he also manages to bring an element of creative flair to the process to help inspire great work. In fact, creativity is something he insists on from all strategic planning and attributes this to the empathy he has for creatives, having been on the receiving end of more than his fair share of bad briefs as a creative. It’s an approach that’s led to work that’s become part of South African culture, from FNB’s ‘Steve’ campaign to, more recently, MTN’s Nightshift commercial.

“We’re really excited to have Stuart on our team. He epitomises Grey’s philosophy of Famously Effective work with his unique blend of experience in creative and strategic thinking. We also look forward to Stuart driving the strategic agenda at the various Grey offices in Sub Saharan Africa.” says Paul Jackson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Grey Africa.

He’s a passionate teacher and, if given the chance, could talk forever about the fundamentals of strategic planning whether that be strategic planning for brands or, his favourite topic, war.

For him, the decision to join Grey was an easy one. Partly down to the people and the remarkably open culture of mutual respect that’s evident in every interaction, but mostly, because while all agencies should be about effectiveness, Grey is the only one honest and brave enough to make it a promise as part of its payoff line.

Although he lives by the motto that nobody dies in advertising, if he can just look back on his career one day and say he contributed to reducing the amount of bullshit that infects our industry, then he’ll die a very happy man.

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