Essence, a global data and measurement-driven media agency and part of WPP’s GroupM, has a new strategy leader for North America.
Jon Gittings joins Essence from fellow GroupM agency MediaCom as executive vice president, strategy for North America. Gittings will work out of the agency’s New York office and serve as a member of the North American executive leadership team led by Essence North America CEO Steve Williams and work closely with the agency’s global strategy leadership team, which includes Essence co-founder and chief product officer Andrew Shebbeare and president, global strategy and analytics Simeon Duckworth.
“Jon is a superb craftsman and one of the best planners I’ve ever worked with,” Williams said in a statement. “His leadership in the strategy arena will help to pair our strength in analytics and data science with enormous depth in communications planning and creativity.”
Gittings said in the statement that he was “ready for a new challenge” after four years at MediaCom.
“Essence’s mission to make advertising more valuable to the world—at a time when our industry has done a good deal to make it less valuable—is a very attractive one,” he said.
Gittings spent the past four and a half years with GroupM, serving as chief strategy officer for the Americas, a role he was promoted to in May of 2016. Before joining GroupM, Gittings served in senior and executive strategy leadership roles at OMD and Omnicom. He was named to Adweek’s Media All-Stars list in 2016.
Gittings’ hire follows the promotion of Adam Gerber to global president, media last month. In June, T-Mobile announced it was partnering with Essence to bring some media responsibilities in-house and Essence added Josh Mandel to its NBCUniversal account team.