Marketing Report
VML appoints Ryan McManus as UK Chief Creative Officer

VML appoints Ryan McManus as UK Chief Creative Officer

Creative agency VML has announced the appointment of Ryan McManus as UK Chief Creative Officer (CCO).

McManus takes on the UK’s top creative role at an exciting time of growth following the merger of two of the world’s most powerful creative agencies. Sitting at the intersection of creativity and technology to create connected brands, he will shape and build the UK’s 250+ creative community to unite and supercharge the agency’s expertise in developing culture-shifting work for globally renowned brands.

McManus will join the UK business and will report directly to UK CEO Pip Hulbert and Global Chief Creative Officer Debbi Vandeven.

Pip Hulbert, UK CEO, VML: “I had the pleasure to meet a lot of people on my search for this role, but for me, Ryan stood out as a new breed of creative leader. He’s truly unique, having a diverse background and in-depth knowledge across AI and technology. He doesn’t fit a mould. Ryan is one of the few people who has the capability to define a new era of creative heights. He comes bursting with energy and enthusiasm for the work and his entrepreneurial spirt is infectious. Exciting times ahead.”

Debbi Vandeven, Global Chief Creative Officer, VML: “With his track record of driving instrumental work for leading clients globally, Ryan is poised to make a significant impact across our UK business. Our UK agency is a key market with great momentum, and Ryan’s leadership and expertise promise to foster further innovation and imagination in our creative. His arrival comes at a pivotal time as we celebrate the UK’s first Grand Prix in the Clios and I have no doubt we will have even more to celebrate in the months and years ahead.”

McManus previously held the position of Chief Creative Officer for North America, where he led creative for one of WPP’s largest clients, Ford, as well as leading on Virgin Voyages, Miami Tourism and BIC. During his time there, McManus created culturally impactful, award-winning work, with recent highlights including the launch of the multi-award-winning Blue-Cruise campaign for Ford – winning Gold and Best in Show at NYF – and JEN AI, an AI version of Jennifer Lopez for Virgin Voyages which amassed over 2 billion earned media impressions.

Before that, he was Chief Creative Officer at VMLY&R South Africa for five years, where he oversaw the merger of VML and Y&R to a full-service integrated agency and led it to creative and commercial success.

Ryan is a multidisciplinary creative with a media-agnostic approach. His work has won hundreds of awards across almost every global award show, including Gold Cannes Lions, D&AD, NYF, One Show, ADC, and Loeries, and he’s been a regular judge at global award shows, including Cannes Lions. Ryan was listed in Mail & Guardians Top 200, The Media Magazine’s Top 40 under 40, and was invited to sit on the Creative Circle EXCO Board.

Outside of his agency work, Ryan loves spending time with his three daughters, surfing, and travelling to places he can be barefoot.

Ryan McManus, UK Chief Creative Officer, VML, concluded: “From the moment I met the UK team I was blown away with the level of creative talent and depth of capabilities. To me, the UK is a candy store of incredible future-facing skills that can truly serve the bespoke needs of our clients. I can’t wait to be a part of the alchemy and guide the creative department to make outstanding work that drives meaningful change. London, here I come!”