TORONTO – October 2, 2015 – J. Walter Thompson announced today that Brent Choi, Chief Creative and Integration Officer for J. Walter Thompson Canada, has been promoted to Chief Creative Officer for J. Walter Thompson New York and Canada. Choi takes on the expanded role as Adam Kerj, who was named Chief Creative Officer for the agency’s New York office last October, departs the agency for personal reasons.
In just under three years as Chief Creative and Integration Officer for J. Walter Thompson Canada, Choi, in partnership with President and CEO Susan Kim-Kirkland, have led a remarkable turnaround. The office has transformed into one of the network’s best performing in the world. It has won several new businesses, including Air Canada, Grand Marnier U.S. and Burger King; seen incredible awards show success (in 2015, more than 100 international and national awards and counting); and made numerous hires of the top creative talent in Canada. The agency has also transformed from delivering TV-centric output into one of Canada’s most innovative companies, winning several digital businesses, the Atomic Grand Prix, and was the only Canadian agency recognized at the Cannes Lions Innovation festival this year.
Choi’s expanded role in the network is a testament to the success and transformation of J. Walter Thompson Canada, as well as his ability to lead and inspire.
“I am passionate about identifying and promoting talent from within, and for some time, I’ve wanted Brent to take on a larger role in the network,” said Eastwood. “Brent is a brilliant creative, a leader and consummate professional, and he has a stellar track record of transforming businesses and solving business problems through creativity. We are thrilled that he is taking on this new position.”
Choi will be tasked with driving industry-leading creative ideas for the New York office and its accounts, including Macy’s, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s Special K, and Puma, among others. He will also continue to lead, with SVP Executive Creative Director Ryan Spelliscy, J. Walter Thompson Canada creatively, which includes world-class clients such as Air Canada, Tim Hortons, Mazda, Johnson & Johnson and Walmart. Choi will report to Matt Eastwood, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer for the J. Walter Thompson Company.
“I’m incredibly proud of our accomplishments here in Canada,” said Choi. “It’s been an inspiring team effort at every level and in every department. I was excited when I joined Susan here a few years ago, and I’m equally thrilled to build upon our success and contribute to the great work our New York office is doing. It’s clear evidence of the incredible energy that Matt and Gustavo Martinez have infused, not only into New York, but the network worldwide.”
“Brent is a super-talented leader,” added Kim-Kirkland. “His ability to guide the agency to deliver award-winning work is abundantly clear. But perhaps his greatest strength is his ability to attract amazing talent at all levels. I am extremely proud of what this signals in terms of our stature as a leading office in the network. Brent’s commitment to Canada will no doubt be unwavering, but as they say, the world needs more Canada.”
In recent years, J. Walter Thompson Canada has added significant senior creative, digital, social and strategic talent to its ranks, all in support of the rapid growth of the agency. With award-winning creative leadership in Spelliscy, recent significant senior hires including Creative Directors Ari Elkouby and Matt Syberg-Olsen, the agency’s creative bench strength is deep.
About Brent Choi
Very few have had a run like Brent Choi over the past decade. In just under three years as Chief Creative and Integration Officer of J. Walter Thompson Canada, he has helped to transform the agency, winning new business and leading the agency to be named a finalist for both Agency of the Year and Digital Agency of the Year honors. In fact, since 2000, Choi has helped two different agencies to become Agency of the Year in Canada and runner-up Agency of the Year while at his previous agency.
In 2013, Choi was the #2 ranked Chief Creative Officer in the world for his digital work, and consistently ranked as one of Canada’s top 10 CDs. In the past few years, he has received several Cannes Lions (including two Golds), multiple CLIOS and D&AD pencils, AdAge’s Top Five Ads of the Year, and one of only 11 worldwide winners of the inaugural Fast Company Innovation Award. His work has also been featured numerous times in Mashable, Wired, Forbes, CNN, and Fast Company. He’s had the honor of speaking at Google, facebook and the University of Toronto, and sits on the board of directors of the Advertising and Design Club of Canada (ADCC).
Some would say his creative success is because he started with a business degree from Ivey. Others will argue it’s in spite of it. At home he is a proud dad, insane NFL fan, and loving husband. His wife would add “In that order.”
About J. Walter Thompson
J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, has been creating pioneering solutions that build enduring brands and business for more than 150 years. Headquartered in New York, J. Walter Thompson is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. The agency consistently ranks among the top networks in the world and continues to be a dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge—from hiring the industry’s first female copywriter to developing award-winning branded content today. For more information, please visit www.jwt.com and follow us @JWT_Worldwide.