McCann Health Canada names first ECD

Sean Riley joins from the agency's Singapore office in response to recent business growth and transformation.

Sean Riley 4C

McCann Health Canada has appointed Sean Riley to executive creative director, a new position added to help handle a growing amount of high-level assignments..

Riley will lead McCann Health Canada’s creative team. Neill Brown, managing director at McCann Health Canada, says that, prior to this, McCann Health’s creative department had been led by multiple senior leads and not an individual CD or ECD.

McCann created Riley’s position in light of its recent growth and transformation over the past two years – most notably, integrating the network’s healthcare communications and pharmacy marketing practices early last year.

“Going into 2020, now is the time to add someone of Sean’s calibre to lead our creative department and drive the next phase of our development,” Brown says. “Our creative department has now reached the scale where putting in place executive leadership is needed…we’re helping clients in Canada tackle some of the biggest issues and opportunities in healthcare, both at the brand level and at the category level.”

Although this newly-created position sounds “lofty,” Brown anticipates Riley will heavily immerse himself and be involved throughout the creative process.

“Sean’s a very hands-on person,” Brown says. “He’s deeply involved in strategic thinking and creative ideation. He sees creative opportunities in projects of all sizes and he obsesses about the detail and delivery of everything we do. He’s involved all the way through – that’s the difference.”

Having started his advertising career in 1987, Riley joined McCann Healthcare Australia in 1999, working across Melbourne and Sydney offices. In 2007, he moved to Asia as ECD of the agency’s Singapore office, later adding duties for the South East Asia region to his duties before moving to Japan to lead creative for that office and the North Asia region. In 2018, Riley moved back to the creative team in Singapore.

Brown says there are three areas he and Riley looking to address. “One, is driving excellence through our creative product – so elevating the quality of our creative product,” he says. “The second is driving thought-leadership in health and wellness for Canada. And third, is connectivity into our global network to elevate the importance of our agency, our country.”

Brown adds that McCann Health Canada and Riley will be formalizing further goals in the coming weeks.

Last year was a relatively busy year for McCann Health, as it was given the nod by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario to lead the development of new community health initiatives and support the DFO’s community marketing group. Additionally, Bayer selected McCann Health to handle healthcare professional marketing duties for yeast infection treatment Canesten and laxative brand RestoraLAX.