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EXCLUSIVE: Ryan McManus appointed chief creative officer, VMLY&R North America

VMLY&R South Africa's chief creative officer, Ryan McManus has been appointed chief creative officer, North America on the Ford business and will be based out of VMLY&R's New York office.
Supplied. Ryan McManus, VMLY&R South Africa’s chief creative officer, has been appointed chief creative officer, North America
Supplied. Ryan McManus, VMLY&R South Africa’s chief creative officer, has been appointed chief creative officer, North America

“I have loved every minute of my time here at VMLY&R and being a part of this amazing team,” says McManus.

“I was brought on as a freelancer nine years ago and just found my home. It’s a bittersweet decision to leave the city, country and business I love, but I know I will remain a part of the local family and will be able to draw them onto the global stage with me," he says.

He joined the agency after working in Europe for a decade and elsewhere nine years ago. The work he led for Absolut Vodka and the relaunch of the Edgars brand came to define a new, optimistic, and culturally-rich role for brands in the country, but it was his creative leadership in winning the Vodacom account in 2020 that really put the agency on the map.

“As a network we are in the fortunate position of being able to open exciting new opportunities for talented people in other markets. This allows us to keep the best people long term, and it also offers our clients new cultural and social perspectives," says Debbi Vandeven, Global chief creative officer for VMLY&R.

Global creative community


"The South African team are an integral part of the global creative community, and we will be working closely with the team there to ensure there is no gap in the creative product through the transition,” adds Vandeven.

“When major international roles open up for our people, we celebrate,” says Jarred Cinman, co-CEO of VMLY&R SA. “This kind of promotion elevates our country’s creative reputation immensely.”

“The last two years have seen us cross the barrier of digital agency to full-service agency,” says Diane Wilson, co-CEO. “There is no doubt that McManus' creative genius and ability to create purpose-led and highly creative work has been instrumental to that. We will miss him, but he leaves behind the strongest creative team in our history who will carry on what he’s started.”

McManus' replacement in South Africa will be announced at a future date.



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