McGarryBowen's Haydn Morris has been appointed global executive creative director on the agency's United Airlines business - a move that has been a long time coming.
"The role has always been there, it’s just been now officially been named, but it did start last year with McGarryBowen taking charge of all of United's integrated work and media planning, so it was essential to the client that someone was keeping an eye on it from a global perspective as they value consistency with their brand image," Morris told Campaign US.
He chalks up the expansion of his role and continued work with United to the fostering of deep relationships.
"I have a particular friendship and relationship with United; I admire them as clients. I guess its reciprocal because they’ve supported me in doing this work," he said.
According to Morris, without that bond, it can be difficult to let creative expression thrive due to a potential lack of trust between the client and the agency.
"I can speak with some authority on the way McGarryBowen works, and it’s totally based on client relationships and trust on both sides. The longevity of McGarryBowen's relationships with their clients is a testament to that and the trust that builds up allows us to do better work. And that’s not always apparent but I’ve been here almost the entire life of the agency, and I would say it's very healthy. That client relationship leads to great work," he said.
And his advice to other creatives? Be prepared to take a lot of punches.
"It’s inevitable that at the end of each day there is some aspect of the day that beats you down, but you have to jump out of the bed the next morning, forgetting all of that, saying ‘it's a beautiful sunny day, (even when it’s not) let’s do some great work,’" he explained.
Morris added: "That sort of insanity is inherent in the industry and in all good advertising folks. You take the knocks and get up in the morning and forget all about it. That’s the real secret. In terms of the relationship and how that helps things, at McGarryBowen we have friendships with our clients. They want the same things that we want, even though we may have different agendas and responsibilities, we find a happy medium."
Last October, McGarryBowen parent company Dentsu Aegis Network won the global media account for United Airlines with a Carat, Merkle-led team.
This past summer, Pat Lafferty, U.S. president of McGarryBowen, and the agency "mutually agreed to part ways," according to a statement. His responsibilities have been taken over by other senior members of the agency, and the role is not expected to be replaced.