New appointment supports Specsavers in-house agency transformation

NicolaSpecsavers has strengthened its in-house creative agency with the appointment of a managing director to head up the multi-award-winning team.

To help meet the changing needs of the business as it continues to grow, Specsavers has appointed Nicola Wardell, most recently chief client officer at Havas, who will join the business in early February. With more than 20 years’ experience leading high-profile accounts across multiple categories, she is perfectly placed to create the vision and direction to transform the agency going forward.

Ms Wardell will take on a 90-strong team and will be supported by Marco Bezerra and Richard James, who will be jointly accountable for the creative department, along with Tracey Ruddy who heads up strategy and planning, Helen Arnold leading the digital team and recently appointed Julia Arenson who joined three months ago from VCCP Blue and is head of production and operations.

‘There is so much to love about this opportunity. Specsavers is a fabulous brand that continues to build on its heritage of doing famously creative work, that works. To be able to lead the development of the team responsible for this work, from inside the Specsavers organisation, is a gift – no barriers and one agenda. The challenge of growing and evolving what was one of the first in-house agency models is a dream brief,’ says Ms Wardell.

Global Chief Marketing Officer Katherine Whitton says:

‘We are delighted to be welcoming Nicola to Specsavers. Her arrival will help further strengthen our leadership team in the agency. Nicola’s wealth of experience, as well as her commercial astuteness, will be huge assets for Specsavers as we continue to evolve our in-house agency’s capabilities and create the culture and environment for exceptional creativity in the future.’

Specsavers has had an internal creative function since 1988 and was one of the first UK brands to set up a full-service internal creative agency in the early 1990s. The agency handles all aspects of the creative process, including its popular TV advertising campaigns. The agency has more than doubled in size in the last four years.

This announcement comes on the back of more changes at Specsavers, which sees UK Marketing Director Tim Orton take on the role of Domiciliary Trading Director as the organisation continues to expand its home visits service to reach more people in the community. It is currently carrying out an external search for Mr Orton’s replacement.

Watch film