McCann: Laura Simpson to head Intelligence unit

(Laura Simpson takes over McCann Truth and Intelligence units)

McCann Worldgroup today announced that Laura Simpson has been promoted to President, McCann Worldgroup Truth Central and Global Chief Intelligence Officer, heading up the network’s intelligence unit.

McCann Worldgroup’s expanded intelligence capabilities include the official launch of the agency’s Truth Engine, a proprietary tool that provides access across the network to the proprietary insights (aka “truths”) identified by McCann Worldgroup (MW) Truth Central, the network’s global intelligence unit, since its inception ten years ago.

Laura will continue to head up the network’s venerable global intelligence capability that has been the driving force behind some of the most impactful and culturally-significant marketing over the last decade.

The unit’s deep repository of current and historical intelligence on everything from generational cohorts, youth, shopping, beauty, age, and moms, to global brands, diversity, wellness, privacy, and, most recently, culture and covid, among many other topics, has been a crucial asset to clients as they define and activate on the meaningful role they earn in people’s lives.

In her new role, Simpson will be responsible for guiding the creation, usage and connectivity of the ever-expanding suite of intelligence resources, including internal, proprietary assets such as those from MW Truth Central and Interpublic Group’s (IPG’s) Acxiom in addition to external third-party assets.

Laura will also oversee the development of new analytics and applied intelligence tools, techniques and platforms where objective data is explored to unearth the macro forces that impact brands and the world at large. Simpson will also be charged with pioneering new ways of applying insights and thought leadership, driving even more impact for McCann Worldgroup’s client as well as the network itself.

“What sets an agency apart is not just its intelligence on the world, people and the cultural trends changing us all, but how that intelligence is applied to solve the unique challenges each brand faces and ultimately propel their business forward.”

Laura Simpson

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Simpson also notes, “The Truth Engine arms everyone within our network with the intelligence they need to generate bold marketing rooted in powerful insights – which is why we’ve generated some of the most impactful creative in the industry. As we look to a cookieless future and a world reimagined, our unmatched applied intelligence capabilities will be more crucial than ever before.”

Laura, who has been with McCann for 16 years, was previously head of Trends and Insight for McCann London before taking on the MW Truth Central role, and had worked with major MW global clients such as L’Oréal, Mastercard, and Nestlé. At MW Truth Central, she heads a dedicated global team of experts both in quantitative and qualitative research as well as in anthropological methods (the latter pioneered by Dr. Rodney Collins, Global Director MW Truth Central and resident Anthropologist).

Her team also includes specialists in specific market sectors, such as the luxury goods and services market led by Nadia Tuma-Weldon, Global Director, MW Truth Central. Each member of Simpson’s team is an expert in a global region, consumer demographic or research method, which contributes to a differentiated thought leadership approach that is informed by multiple perspectives.

“In our industry, knowledge truly is power…the more we know about people’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, the more effective we are at helping our brands earn a meaningful role in people’s lives,” said McCann Worldgroup Global President Suzanne Powers.

She adds, “Laura has a sixth sense in not only identifying the most important forces impacting the world but leveraging that knowledge to unlock creativity and directly solve our clients’ business challenges — something we call ‘Radical Application.’ As we emerge from lockdowns and quarantines, it will be more important than ever to arm our clients with knowledge of a world forever altered by a global multi-dimensional pandemic as well as the ever-changing needs of the audiences they serve.  

Reel 360 wishes Laura all the best in her new role.