Matt Edwards

Matt Edwards

Chief Executive at WCRS, London
London, United Kingdom

My Latest Work

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Summary

Matt Edwards graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics before starting his career with Saatchi & Saatchi, at the time the UK’s leading ad agency. After 6 years of launching Toyota cars and learning FMCG marketing from Procter & Gamble, Matt Edwards was hired by Lowe in 2000 where he ran the flagship Stella Artois account. During that time Stella Artois won numerous creative and marketing awards including four Cannes Lions, the BTAA Grand Prix and the Marketing Society Grand Prix.;WCRS hired Matt Edwards to be their New Business and Marketing Director in 2005 where he joined the new, post-MBO management team. By 2008 WCRS had added more than £100m of new business billings, rising from 18th to 6th place in the Nielsen rankings. Matt Edwards became Managing Director of Engine at the beginning of 2009 and was part of the team responsible for the development of Engine ‘s ‘best in class under one roof’ model for integration. In 2011 Matt was promoted to the role of Chief Executive of WCRS, Engine ‘s creative agency.

Positions

Chief Executive Officer
London, United Kingdom
June 2011 - Present (6 years 5 months)
This was a turnaround task with the brief to revamp and re-energise WCRS. The main objectives were to improve our creative work, secure key clients, win new business and grow revenues and EBITDA. I put in place a completely new management team consisting of a blend of new hires and promotions from within. Together we have overhauled everything from the agency positioning to our process for developing ideas. This team has delivered five fantastic years for WCRS during which time we've topped the new business league and grown from being outside the top ten UK agencies to being inside the top five. We've been named Agency of the Year by a panel of 40 clients at Marketing Week's Festival of Marketing. We've won at every major creative awards including Gold at Cannes. Campaign named me in their 'Top Ten Chief Executives' list. Our work is extremely varied, covering all channels and with an increasing focus on digital. We look to improve as an agency every year and continue to pursue our vision of Creating Work People Care About.
Managing Director
London, United Kingdom
2008 - June 2011 (3 years 5 months)
In this role I was responsible for a range of Group functions with the most important being to drive growth for the Engine Group through successful business development. This included both growing existing accounts and attracting new ones to Engine. In order to do this successfully I put in place a structure for different Engine companies to work well together and personally led a number of successful cross-Engine pitches. Together with the rest of the Engine management team I developed Engine's model of integration during this period - many of the concepts and ways of working we put in place have become central to how we work today with our most integrated Engine clients.
New Business & Marketing Director
London, United Kingdom
2005 - 2008 (3 years)
The WCRS management team had just completed a management buyout, so naturally the partners were hugely keen to win new clients. My role was to be the focused lead on new business, to market the agency, generate opportunities and make sure we converted them. We spent the first year getting our proposition right and making a few mistakes along the way. Then we hit our stride with clear, tight strategies brought to life with bold, vibrant pitch-winning creative, winning Weetabix, The Royal Navy, Churchill, Transport for London, Littlewoods, The Carbon Trust, Kerrygold and Sky. WCRS shot up the UK billings league from 18th to 6th during this period and the success of the agency provided a platform for the creation of Engine, our integrated group of agencies housed all under one roof.
Board Account Director
Lowe Lintas
2000 - 2005 (5 years)
Lowe Lintas was formed from the merger of Lowe Howard-Spink and Ammirati Puris Lintas and I joined just after the merger. Most commentators expected the merger to be a disaster as the cultures of the two agencies were very different but in the first full year as a merged entity Lowe Lintas was named Agency of the Year by Campaign. My contribution was to run the flagship Stella Artois account and working with talented writers, directors and composers we delivered some of the most acclaimed creative work of this era including the films Doctor, Devil's Island, Pilot and Ice-Skating Priests. We also developed an innovative digital campaign called Sable & Shuck, one of the first ever ARGs (Alternate Reality Game) developed to promote a brand. We won the Marketing Society Grand Prix for the effectiveness of the Stella Artois campaign over time. On the back of this success we were invited to compete for the account on a global basis. We pitched and won the business from the global incumbent McCann.
Graduate Trainee to Board Account Director
London, United Kingdom
1994 - 2000 (6 years)
In 1994 Saatchi & Saatchi was the UK's leading ad agency and I was one of 2,000 graduates applying to work there. I fought my way through to be one of six successful applicants and ended up staying for six formative years. During this time I learnt the basics of marketing strategy and campaign development from many major brands including Toyota (launching Avensis and Yaris), Procter & Gamble, Norwich Union and Lloyds TSB. By the end of the millennium the dotcom boom was in full swing. I ran the successful pitch for monster.com and oversaw the development of the multi-award-winning Beware of the Voices campaign.

Trade Organizations

Oystercatchers Club, London

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