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Former Dentsu MD joins Nest Commerce

Full-funnel performance agency Nest Commerce has announced the appointment of ex-Dentsu MD Chris Howard as chief operating officer.

Howard, based in Manchester, brings more than two decades of experience driving digital performance for leading national and global brands, with a focus on retail and ecommerce. He has developed this in a variety of leadership roles both in the big six agencies, and in-house including eBay and Shop Direct (now Very Group), where he was head of digital.

Howard’s most recent role was MD of performance media at Dentsu, leading a team of more than 350 experts from six UK offices in delivering paid social, paid search, affiliates and retail media campaigns for all clients across Dentsu’s agencies, including iProspect, Carat and Merkle.

Nest plans to leverage his extensive expertise in retail and ecommerce to further bolster the agency’s capabilities. Founded by Will Ashton, CEO, and Luke Jonas, CCO, in 2017 Nest Commerce has witnessed rapid growth in the past year seeing revenues increase by more than 50% with a series of new client wins, including Manchester-based fashion brand Nadine Merabi, where it will lead its paid social and search activity to accelerate growth in 2024.

Nest’s experts support ecommerce marketing teams in driving greater revenue growth from digital platforms including Meta, TikTok and Google, with a client list including ME+EM, Reiss, Hims, Decathlon and Crew Clothing. Howard previously worked with Ashton when the Nest CEO was at Google and Howard was his client while at eBay – Google’s largest advertiser at the time.

“I’m delighted to join the team at Nest Commerce,” said Howard. “Nest has been on my radar for some time, and what really stands out is a really clear social-first proposition, with a laser-focus on what retail and ecommerce clients need to succeed in 2024. They understand what is required from a platform perspective, but also what’s going on within the wider industry, driven by their specialism and success helping online retailers drive efficient scale.”

CEO Ashton added: “It’s very rare to find someone with significant senior experience in ecommerce, both client and agency side. Having worked closely with [Chris] before, I know he has an ideal blend of detail and bigger picture to manage our digital operations. With an intimate understanding of how platforms and retail works, he will drive Nest and our ecommerce clients into the next phase of growth, building on strong momentum from 2023 into 2024.”

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