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Iris Strengthens London Leadership Team with Chris Grimwood and Elisha Pearce


Both will be responsible for overseeing the agency’s client base and the launch of Iris Inc, a ‘social-first’ proposition

Iris Strengthens London Leadership Team with Chris Grimwood and Elisha Pearce

Iris, the global creative innovation network, has today announced new appointments to its London leadership with the hire of Chris Grimwood and the promotion of Elisha Pearce to joint managing directors of Iris London, alongside existing managing director Anthony Abrahams. Together they assume joint responsibility for Iris’ division of consumer brands and report directly to London CEO, Claire Humphris.

As well as overseeing the agency’s client base, they will be responsible for strengthening Iris’s social capabilities with the launch of a new ‘social-first’ proposition designed to plug the gap between social specialists and traditional agency models. The ‘Iris Inc’ proposition - which stands for Igniting New Creators’ - will combine the agency’s  in-house talent and a global network of creators to harness the power of the creator economy for clients, and will sit at the forefront of Iris’s offering

Chris Grimwood rejoins the agency from Social Chain and Brave Bison where he was VP of client services and MD respectively, bringing with him a wealth of experience working with global brands including Unilever, Xbox, and Sony throughout his career. Chris started his career at Iris, holding account director and business director roles and working with brands such as Sony and Samsung. At Brave Bison, Chris was responsible for building out its social and influencer offering ahead of the acquisition of Social Chain in 2023. As part of that acquisition Chris moved to Social Chain as vice president, overseeing delivery across the accounts team, predominantly working on KFC and General Mills.

Elisha Pearce moves from her role as managing partner after 16 years working across a broad spectrum of clients, including Starbucks, ABRDN and Pizza Hut. Elisha’s strength in creating effective brand-led comms has resulted in award winning work, including ‘What’s your name’ for Starbucks, which won the Channel 4 diversity in advertising award and subsequently 21 awards for the agency, including a Cannes Gold Lion.

Chris commented on his appointment: “For me this feels more like a homecoming than a new role. I know the masses of potential Iris has as I grew up there, learned the ropes, and took that knowledge out on the road and came to realise that when Iris is at its most Iris, there’s few that can compete. Working with Elisha and Claire to direct that potential towards a new and exciting frontier for the agency is a once in a lifetime opportunity that feels serendipitous, given everything I’ve learned from my time at Brave Bison and Social Chain.”

Elisha commented on her appointment:  "I'm truly excited to join forces with Chris to take Iris's offering to the next level, with his social expertise and my brand building heritage, alongside our strong data capability, it's an incredibly exciting opportunity. In the age of the creator economy and the speed at which brands need to communicate, the Iris Inc proposition will utilise data, strategic expertise and global community of talent to produce agile and culturally relevant campaigns for clients including Pizza Hut, Samsung, adidas and Nectar. "

CEO Claire Humphris said. “Iris has never been able to be put neatly in one box or another. Our best work has always been culturally astute and it has never really felt like traditional advertising. With the addition of new talent like Chris and the promotion of Elisha, as well as other burgeoning talent we have in our creator community, we will be able to create even more content and experiences that work with and build communities for our clients around culture and passions”.

ECD Grant Hunter said: “In the participation era, creativity powered by cultural insight that harnesses the power of the creator economy will transform how brands play a meaningful role in people’s lives. Iris Inc. blends the best in-house talent with a global community of creators, to plug the gap between social specialists and the traditional ad agency models. We’re seeing brands like Pizza Hut, adidas and Bentely become hungry for creativity that responds to the speed of culture. With Iris Inc, we can iterate rapidly, producing work that reacts to what’s hot and is underpinned by cultural feedback loops and informed by data.”

CMO Cheil Connec+ Jill Smith said: “Iris knows that the future is in putting social at the heart of everything they do - the creator economy isn’t going anywhere. Agencies and the brands they work with need to embrace this, and fast because it’s not just relevant to consumer brands, it will be at the heart of B2B, Healthcare, trade and beyond.”

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Iris, Mon, 05 Jun 2023 12:41:00 GMT