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ZEAL Creative appoints Gold Lion winner as creative lead

John Treacey

Manchester and London-brand activation agency, ZEAL creative, has appointed award-winning creative leader John Treacy as its first executive creative director (ECD).

Treacy will support ZEAL’s mission to be the world’s most recommended agency, with a remit to transform its creative output to deliver in new and innovative ways for clients. Reporting to the agency’s co-founders, Stewart Hilton and Robert White, he will work across the agency’s client base which includes Nestlé, Kellogg’s, Carlsberg and Lucozade.

Treacy was one of the original founders of integrated agency Elvis, where he delivered award-winning work for clients including Mondelez, The Virgin Group and Honda. He went on to run the biggest creative department in Omnicom’s Proximity network, working with over 60 creatives, technologists, and designers.

In seven years at Proximity London, he won over 200 creative awards including a Gold Lion for Creative Effectiveness for The Economist at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Most recently Treacy served as ECD at MRM, where during Covid he helped the agency to win Campaign Magazine’s Customer Engagement Agency of the Year in 2021.

Treacy said: “Whatever agency I’ve worked in I’ve always believed in creative work, that works. In an era where the message, the media and the sequencing are indivisible, it’s never been more important to understand how data and technology, allied to creativity, can be harnessed to deliver spectacular results. ZEAL has some amazing clients and a long-held commitment to effectiveness. I’m relishing the chance to help the creative team to innovate more, to think bigger and to deliver an even larger impact for our clients.”

Stewart Hilton, founder and joint chief executive officer of ZEAL, added: “We’ve always followed John’s work with an envious eye, especially as we knew he shared our passion for crafting beautifully effective campaigns. As we scale up ZEAL, we need creative leadership that understands the ever-changing media landscape from a firm footing of effectiveness. John’s mission is to be a catalyst for the whole agency; inspiring everyone in ZEAL to innovate to deliver bigger and better campaigns for our world leading clients.”

Treacy has also worked with diverse clients such as Virgin Group, VW, Skoda, Seat, Audi, The Economist and Ikea. He judges creative awards including Cannes Lions, D&AD and The DMA and is a former board member of the MAA.

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