Edelman names new creative director

Leilah Ambrose has been promoted to help lead the PR shop's evolving creative product.

Edelman Canada has added to the leadership of its creative department, promoting Leilah Ambrose to VP and creative director as the agency continues to expand the scope of its creative work.

In her new role, Ambrose will continue to contribute to Edelman’s creative product while also leading creative efforts for Yum! Brands and the Ontario Association of Optometrists. She will report to Andrew Simon, Edelman Canada’s CCO, who was ECD at DDB Canada while Ambrose was working at sister agency Tribal Worldwide.

“I know all about her ability, so I was excited when I joined two years ago and heard that she was a part of the creative department,” Simons says. “Part of this is recognition for her great thinking and evolution as a creative person. Her personality is also so refreshing, so from a culture standpoint, she is going to bring a lot to the table.”

Ambrose joined Edelman in 2014 as ACD, having previously worked on the creative teams at Tribal, Grip and Taxi. In her time at Edelman, she has worked with clients including Kraft, Johnson & Johnson, PayPal, Go RVing, KFC, Intuit, Janssen and the Ontario Association of Optometrists. The “20 Second Daydreams” campaign she helped create for OAO was named Campaign of the Year at the CPRS ACE awards in 2016.

Simon says adding to Edelman’s creative leadership is also a reflection of the kind of work the PR agency is being asked to do. Besides its AOR remit for Calgary Zoo and other yet-to-be-announced assignments, he points to a recent campaign for HP as an example. Focused on print security products, the campaign included what might be considered more traditional PR-led work, like enlisting a Canadian hacker to go out to speaking engagements to help get the message in front of relevant people in the IT industry. But it also involved the creation of a documentary around the hacker that was accepted to the Hot Docs film festival, where Edelman staged a stunt around its premiere.

“It’s a strong concept that can go in so many different places if you really want to bring it to life,” Simon says. “That’s not something Edelman would have done three years ago, but it’s what we are doing today. And more and more, clients are saying they want more of that and aren’t resigning us to solely doing PR work. They want great ideas and for us to run with them.”