OLIVER Group, the in-house agency specialist, has been appointed to handle the creative offering for O2 Czech Republic. The win is accompanied by the hire of O2 creative firepower, Milan Semelak, to drive OLIVER Group’s ambitious growth plans within Central Europe.
OLIVER will take overall responsibility of O2 Czech Republic’s existing in-house creative team, including developing and expanding the team, nurturing talent and providing education and support on OLIVER processes. The agency will provide strategic advice, creative idea generation and development for all major brand and product campaigns.
O2 Czech Republic has used an in-house agency for two years previously working with creative agency Nydrle. It will begin working with OLIVER from July.
Semelak’s appointment will see the creation of a new role within OLIVER Group of chief disruption officer. In this role, Semelak will be responsible for driving and developing the OLIVER brand globally, and further evolving the in-house business model offering. As former chief creative officer for O2 Czech Republic and O2 Slovakia, Semelak led the internal agency teams for both countries.
Taking on a dual role, Semelak will also be chairman and chief creative officer for OLIVER Central Europe, building OLIVER’s presence in the region. He will drive new business and oversee the O2 Czech Republic account.
Prior to O2, Semelak was strategy and innovation director at VCCP and worked inside creative departments for local Central Europe agencies for brands such as Allianz, MINI, Heineken, Volvo, Daylong and Pernod Ricard. Semelak joins OLIVER immediately and will report to Simon Martin, global chief executive, OLIVER Group.
Simon Martin said: “O2 is an incredibly ambitious and innovative company that is transitioning from a telecoms provider into a real digital economy enabler. But to support this transformation, requires agility, speed and integration – the very qualities that OLIVER’s better inside proposition is designed to deliver.
“The appointment of Milan is a real turning point in our expansion into Central Europe. The creation of the chief disruption officer role is further proof of our belief that creativity driven from the inside will become a crucial way of working with clients.”
Milan Semelak added: “The in-house model is often faced with criticism that it cannot handle big work and prestigious brands. OLIVER has proven that the opposite is actually the case. It is a model that is driven by creative disruption and it is one of the very few real innovations that has happened in the ad industry in past decades. It is simply a better way of working together, and this is what attracted me to the role.
“We want to be able to put the most senior, multi-skilled creative talent inside our clients’ worlds to act as ‘boardroom creatives’, providing high quality creative thinking and output at the right place at the right time.”
The O2 win and appointment of Semelak comes on the back of further OLIVER Group expansion earlier this month with a new Istanbul office.