Upward Move: Ben Ingersoll

Upward Move: Ben Ingersoll
Upward Move: Ben Ingersoll

Ben Ingersoll
Chief creative officer, ghg

"MY GOAL is simple,” says Ben Ingersoll, newly appointed chief creative officer of ghg. “I want to make grey the hottest creative healthcare agency in the business within three years.”

If he's looking for a roadmap to accomplish that, he won't have to travel far. Directly underneath his department is grey's consumer division—which Ingersoll says underwent a similar transformation.

“In four to five years, they transformed themselves from perhaps the worst agency to one of the best in the business,” he explains. “I had a chance to meet with their creative director Tor Myhren to ask him how he did it. And he accomplished it by getting everyone in the agency involved in creative.” Grey was both AdAge's “2014 Agency of the Year,” and AdWeek's 2013 Global Agency of the Year.

Prior to joining ghg, Ingersoll spent nearly 21 years with CDM New York, where he also served as a creative director and partner. “CDM is a great agency—I wouldn't have stayed there 20 years if it wasn't—but there's more of a commitment here at ghg to be experimental.”

And that commitment to experimentation comes from the top, he says, “Lynn Vos really is pushing us to do and try new things here. She's a big proponent of digital technologies.” When speaking with Ingersoll, he had just finished Stream Health, a WPP conference championed by Vos.

While Ingersoll may want to broaden the scope of the agency's creative department, that's not to say he doesn't value account people. “Without great account people you just never get anything done,” he notes. “The real work happens after the idea occurs, the challenges come in preserving that idea.”

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