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Hires, Wins & Business
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iris Appoints Sophie Lewis as Head of Planning and Richard Edwards as Group Planning Director

Iris WorldWide, 2 months, 2 weeks ago

iris ups the ante in senior strategic talent investment with new Head of Planning and Group Planning Director for UK team

iris Appoints Sophie Lewis as Head of Planning and Richard Edwards as Group Planning Director

iris is continuing to invest in its senior strategic team in the UK, with the appointment of Sophie Lewis to Head of Planning and Richard Edwards to Group Planning Director. The agency is looking to continue its investment in senior talent, due to continued growth and expanding relationships with its clients.


Ben Essen, iris’ current Head of Planning, is promoted into the role of Executive Planning Director following his outstanding contribution to the agency’s recent success in becoming both Campaign Big Integrated and RAR agency of the year. In his new role, Essen will focus on developing thought leadership and driving breakthrough strategic thinking across a progressive looking agency portfolio of clients that includes adidas, Dominos, Samsung, Virgin Active and Wickes to name a few.


Sophie Lewis joins iris from AMV where she led strategy on Sainsbury’s for 3.5 years, including the acclaimed ‘Christmas in A Day’ Campaign. Most recently she worked on the SCA Bodyform Red.Fit platform. Prior to AMV she held senior planning positions at JWT and Mother.


At iris, Sophie will work with Ben and iris’ Deputy Global CEO Sam Noble to help clients ‘build brands that prosper in the era of Participation’ and will run the 20+ strong London planning team.


Sophie Lewis, Head of Planning:"People in the real world require properly integrated solutions. They won’t say that, but it’s what they expect and in truth only a handful of agencies can deliver this as standard. iris is one of those and it’s  also populated by delightful, down-to-earth people, so it wasn’t a difficult decision.”


Richard Edwards takes on a role of Group Planning Director and strategic responsibilities for Wickes, among other clients. Most recently he was joint Head of Strategy at RKCR, and led the planning for its award-winning Land Rover work, including the Hibernot and Rugby World Cup sponsorship.    


He will join Max Wright and Ben Milligan as the existing Group Planning Directors in the team.


Dan Saxby, CEO (UK) iris says: “In Sophie and Richard, we have found two exceptional talents whose ambition and attitude marry that of our own. They are passionate problem solvers and have come here to do the best work of their careers. I’m delighted to have them part of the leadership team.”