McKinney promotes Walt Barron to chief strategy officer
Former head of account planning to strengthen further the agency’s creative-strategy partnership
Durham, NC September 1, 2015 — McKinney announced today that Walt Barron, previously head of account planning, has been promoted to chief strategy officer. In his new role, Barron oversees creative strategy, research and analytics for the agency. His job is to strengthen and enhance collaboration with creative to enrich the agency’s work and to represent the agency’s strategic strengths and philosophies to prospective clients.
“I should share a desk with Walt,” said McKinney Chief Creative Officer Jonathan Cude. “He is the most creatively-oriented strategist in the business. He understands strategy is not an end in itself, but rather it’s the work that helps our clients gain influence in the world.”
“Strategy at McKinney has a singular focus: Serve creativity,” said Barron. “Putting people at the core of our strategy, instead of a brand’s will, creates empathy for everyone touching the work. And this allows us to make things that people really care about.”
As head of account planning, Barron led the team that won the ESPN SEC Network account, helped grow the agency’s relationship with Samsung USA and became an integral part of business development. He has been a key contributor to a range of award-winning campaigns, including the Polaris “Duel” and the Mizuno Running “Mezamashii Run Project,” work that won five Effie awards in 2013, Effie’s “Most Effective Brand in North America” status and a gold Warc Prize for Social Strategy in 2014. Before he started working in advertising, Barron was a Capitol Hill reporter during the Clinton administration. In 2005, he joined McKinney from McGarrah Jessee in Austin, Texas, then left briefly to lead account planning at Peter Mayer in New Orleans. McKinney lured him back in 2012.
Founded in 1969, McKinney focuses on delivering influence through creativity. The agency’s work has been recognized by Cannes, Effie, The One Show and The One Show Interactive, ANDY, Art Directors Club, CLIO, D&AD and the IAB MIXX Awards. An Advertising Age 2015 Agency to Watch and one of the Best Places to Work in Marketing and Media, McKinney works with the following clients: Samsung, Nationwide Insurance, Nationwide Financial, ESPN, Sherwin-Williams, CarMax, Crocs, Sennheiser, Mentos, Big Boss Brewing, Dognition and Urban Ministries of Durham. The agency is part of Cheil Worldwide, one of the world’s leading marketing communications networks with 49 offices in 42 countries. Operating as one agency with two doors, McKinney has offices in Durham, North Carolina, and New York City. To learn more, visit mckinney.com and follow @mckinney.