Kiwi expat Fran Clayton departs DDB Sydney for chief strategy officer role at Ogilvy Network ANZ

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Kiwi expat Fran Clayton departs DDB Sydney for chief strategy officer role at Ogilvy Network ANZ

One of Australia’s most outstanding and celebrated strategists Kiwi expat Fran Clayton is joining Ogilvy Network ANZ as its new chief strategy officer.


Most recently chief strategy officer at DDB Sydney, Clayton brings more than 23 years’ experience to the role, having held a range of other senior posts at leading agencies including McCann, Publicis Mojo and Saatchi & Saatchi.

With a wealth of branding and creative strategy capabilities, she has worked on a range of creative and effectiveness award-winning campaigns for leading brands in Australia and the USA including McDonald’s, Volkswagen, Westpac, Lion and P&G.

She is also on the board of directors for the Advertising Council of Australia, which Ogilvy Network ANZ CEO Sally Kissane said was “testament to the high regard she is held in the industry, but more importantly the passion she has for moving our industry forward.”

Adds Kissane: “We’re thrilled to have Fran join the team to lead our already strong strategy team across both our Australian and New Zealand offices.  Not only is she incredible at what she does, she is an exceptional leader, and a wonderful human.  We can’t wait for her to get started.”

Clayton said of joining the agency: “This is a strategy leader’s dream; an agency with a culture of creative effectiveness, an incredible line up of talent and a roster of clients that includes some of the world’s best marketers. But the thing that excites me most is the ambition of Ogilvy ANZ’s leadership. I’m thrilled to be joining Sally and Toby and can’t wait to get stuck in with the teams across Australia and New Zealand.”

Starting at Ogilvy in July, Clayton will be based in Sydney, but work closely with strategy teams in all Ogilvy offices including New Zealand.  She’ll also work side by side with Ogilvy Network ANZ Chief Creative Officer Toby Talbot, and former Ogilvy Network ANZ CSO Toby Harrison, who became Ogilvy Network ANZ’s Consulting, Growth and Innovation lead several months ago.

Says Talbot: “”I’m really looking forward to working with Fran again. I have watched her become this incredible figurehead in Australian marketing and advertising in the intervening years. DDB invented planning. Fran has the smarts to take what’s she learned there and reinvent it. I cannot wait to partner with her in this new role. Happy days.”

Clayton’s first stint at DDB Sydney was in 2013 when she joined the agency’s strategic unit. After five years with the agency, Clayton joined McCann Australia in 2018 in the role of chief strategy officer and returned to DDB Australia in 2020 as chief strategy officer.

Before her earlier days at DDB she was head of strategy and discovery at Publicis Mojo and prior to that Clayton was part of the strategic departments for Saatchi & Saatchi New York and Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide respectively.

Says Sheryl Marjoram, CEO, DDB Sydney Group: “We could not be more thrilled for Fran in this new, larger role at Ogilvy. DDB continues to be a place that keeps its talent well past the ‘normal’ industry cycle and we are lucky to have had Fran here for almost a decade. She did a brilliant job at DDB and we’re incredibly proud.

“We have begun the recruitment process for our new chief strategy officer, so stay tuned.”

Clayton takes over from Ogilvy’s former chief strategy officer Ryan O’Connell, who departed in January this year after 11 years with the agency to launch new trans-Tasman agency jnr. with former Special New Zealand general manager John Marshall.