Publicis Groupe UK appoints Rebecca Grant to dual role as CEO of UK Influence practice and Chief Client Officer for EMEA Influence practice

  • March 21, 2024

Rebecca Grant has been appointed as CEO of Publicis Groupe UK’s influence practice and chief client officer for the company’s Influence practice across EMEA, in a newly created combined role.

This appointment demonstrates the continued investment in the UK and strengthens its role as a platform across the EMEA region to drive collaboration, strengthen connectivity, and scale expertise and capabilities for clients.

As CEO of Publicis Groupe UK’s influence practice, Grant will oversee ambitious growth plans for the existing agency portfolio, including MSL, Taylor Herring and Salterbaxter, working closely with the agency leaders and other members of the Publicis Groupe UK ComEx. Her chief client officer responsibilities will focus on identifying new opportunities to generate value for multi-market clients.  Grant will report to Demet Ikiler, CEO of Publicis Groupe EMEA.

Grant joins after 13 years with BCW where she was CEO for BCW UK and global chief brand officer. Grant was appointed as the first CEO for the agency in 2018 after overseeing the successful merger of Cohn & Wolfe and Burson-Marsteller in the UK. She was previously UK managing director and head of consumer marketing, EMEA for Cohn & Wolfe. Under her leadership the agency grew 150% by revenue, received industry recognition including gold and silver Cannes Lions and was named UK consultancy of the year by PRovoke. Previously, Grant led the consumer brand practice across the UK and EMEA for five years. She has a wealth of client experience across multiple sectors including technology, health, automotive, travel, FMCG and more.  She has served on major awards juries including as PR jury president at Eurobest in 2023.  Before she joined Cohn & Wolfe in 2011, Grant was senior director and co-head of consumer for Europe at Weber Shandwick. Before that, she was at the Red Consultancy after starting her career at MSL.

Chris McCafferty, who joined Publicis Groupe UK in 2019, has decided to step down to pursue a new challenge.

Demet Ikiler, CEO, Publicis Groupe EMEA, said: “Rebecca is an inspiring leader with an exceptional track record of innovative work, successful collaboration and stellar growth. After two decades working with a broad spectrum of clients across a range of sectors and geographies, she’s perfectly placed to lead and grow our Influence practice in the UK, and scale solutions for clients across EMEA working with our agency leaders in the region. Rebecca is passionate about nurturing the next generation of leadership talent and believes that a diverse, creative, growth-mindset culture is critical to business success. I look forward to working with her and watching her accelerate growth for MSL, Taylor Herring and Salterbaxter. I wish Chris all the best in his next endeavour.”

Rebecca Grant, incoming CEO of Publicis Groupe UK’s influence practice and Chief Client Officer for Publicis Groupe EMEA’s influence practice, said: “Joining Publicis Groupe UK at a time of unprecedented growth and industry leading innovation around AI and data intelligence is an exciting prospect.  I look forward to working with the talented leaders and agency teams to create value for clients through specialist consultancy, creative excellence, and trusted partnership. The opportunity to work across such an enviable client roster is immense and I’m looking forward to collaborating with a dynamic team to unlock a new phase of integration and consultancy to help solve our clients’ toughest challenges. I look forward to building on the success of the strong and established agency portfolio to realise a new chapter of growth at a time when the role of influence has never been more critical to brand and business success.”

Chris McCafferty said: “After five years at Publicis, the time has come for me to take on a new challenge. I’ve enjoyed leading the practice as we’ve reinvigorated the MSL brand, introduced new top tier clients and overseen the successful acquisition of Taylor Herring. I’d like to thank my amazing team and everyone at Publicis Groupe.”

Jo Grierson, managing director of MSL, James Herring and Cath Taylor, co-founders of Taylor Herring, and Steve Lindsay, managing director of Publicis Groupe’s sustainability consultancy Salterbaxter, will report to Grant.

Grant joins Publicis Groupe in May and will become a member of both the UK and EMEA ComEx.

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