Xabier Olazabal, former CEO of Publicis Groupe, to lead the new division of MARCO

MARCO appoints Carlos Bustamante, former Creative Director at El Laboratorio and winner of multiple creative awards, as a Creative Director

The agency is accelerating its transformation, integrating creative and advertising communication services to form a new visionary and disruptive model capable of creating brand experiences connected to deep consumer insights, through the alliance of creativity and communication

MARCO, the most awarded agency in the last decade, specialising in brand building and reputation management, takes a new step in its strategy of digital transformation and generation of new content with the creation of the new area of Creativity & Brand Experience, which will be led by Xabier Olazabal. This new area will combine the resources previously dispersed among the different divisions of the group. Carlos Bustamante also joins the new Creativity & Brand Experience department of the consultancy as a Creative Director, reporting directly to Xabier Olazabal. This new division will work in coordination with consultants from the different business divisions, both Brand and Reputation, to develop creative solutions that connect clients with society, generating conversation, value and differentiation.

With the appointment of Xabier Olazabal as Managing Partner of MARCO Advertising, MARCO’s Creativity & Brand Experience division, the agency is continuing its evolution while maintaining a firm commitment to creativity. Together with technology and data, creativity is a key lever for business development, through a transversal structure that simplifies and makes the company’s organisational structure more efficient. In this way, the agency optimises its resources and maximises the reach of its content with a global and integrated vision.

Xabier Olazabal, one of the biggest names in the advertising business in Spain of the last decade. With more than 30 years of experience in the advertising and marketing sector, he joins MARCO after leaving Publicis Group, the company he has been linked to for the past 17 years. Throughout his career, Xabier has worked with top national and international brands such as Telefónica, Garnier, Renault, Liberty, Turismo de México, Sanofi, Carrefour, BMW and Heineken, among others. Before leaving the group, Xabier Olazabal was co-chairman of Publicis Groupe España and Country CEO of Publicis Communications.

Xabier Olazabal began his career in the advertising sector in the 80s, at the Ruiz Nicoli advertising agency, where he worked as an Account Director until 1999. That year, he joined Airtel (Vodafone Spain) as a Marketing Services Director, an opportunity that allowed him to delve deeper into the world of marketing and lead important advertising campaigns. Subsequently, he joined the advertising firm, Young & Rubicam, as the Director of Client Services, before founding the agency, AdHoc Young & Rubicam, where he took on the integral management of accounts, such as Telefónica. In 2004, he was appointed a Managing Director of Publicis Dialog & Publicis Modem Spain and he was responsible for the digital transformation of the group through the leadership of Publicis Groupe’s digital agencies in Spain, such as Wysiwyg and Nurun. In 2016, he was promoted to CEO of Publicis WorldWide Spain and since 2018 he was also Country CEO of Publicis Communications in Spain from where he drove the integration of resources and units in the process called Power of One.

Throughout his career, he has been a jury member at major creative festivals, and for 2017 and 2018 he was co-director of the El Sol Festival and until last March a member of the Executive Committee of the ACT (Asociación de Agencias de la Creatividad Transformadora). Xabier has given conferences and workshops at some of the main Spanish universities and led the CEU Publicis Masters in Advertising Creativity and Innovation.

The former Co-Chairman of Publicis Groupe España and Country CEO of Publicis Communications, his new duties will include business development, the promotion of improvement strategies and the complementation of the current service model. With his arrival, he wants to maximise the potential of MARCO, which is made up of more than 200 professionals who offer brands a flexible and adapted response to every need in marketing, communication, creativity, technology and data.

Carlos Bustamante, MARCO’s new Creative Director, has 20 years of experience in the advertising sector. After participating in the first tour of the Club de Creativos, he began working at the now-defunct REMO agency, from where he subsequently moved on to other advertising agencies such as Sra. Rushmore, SCPF and Euro RSCG (now Havas). After several years of learning from some of the country’s top creative directors, Carlos decided to move to New York, where he worked at Vidal Partnership, an agency specialising in the US Hispanic market, exploring the American advertising sector. After three years in the US, Carlos returned to Spain to start his career as a Creative Director at the digital agency BtoB, where he worked for four years before joining the agency El Laboratorio. In this agency, he put his talent into practice for the next five years developing campaigns, both digital and ATL, for some of the most important advertisers in the country, until 2020, when he started working as a freelance creative director until he joined MARCO.

Carlos has won numerous awards in renowned creative competitions such as El Sol, CdeC, El ojo de Iberoamérica and Inspirational, as well as the Premios Eficacia, and has worked for leading brands such as Banco Santander, BMW, NFL, Prime Video, T-Mobile, Direct Seguros, Yoigo, Evo Banco, Bizum, BBVA, Mini or Ikea, among others, both inside and outside Spain.

Diana Vall, Managing Director of MARCO BRAND, which includes MARCO Advertising, has stated that “at MARCO we continue to expand and increase our capabilities in both Reputation Management and Brand Building. The experience and leadership that Xabier brings in new narratives, as well as the creativity of Carlos Bustamante and his team of professionals, will allow us to decisively reinforce our commitment to the generation of innovative campaigns“.

Xabier Olazabal, for his part, has highlighted that “I am delighted to join the MARCO team and to be able to expand the agency’s creative capabilities. My goal is to put all my expertise at the service of MARCO’s clients, to develop high-level creative communication campaigns. We have a common vision of the future, in which creativity and innovation are the pillars on which we must build our solutions”.

Carlos Bustamante, in turn, has stated that “I am very happy to be part of the MARCO family and to apply all of my creativity in order to create innovative and ground-breaking campaigns that will make a difference. Creativity is a great tool if it is placed at the heart of communication, as it allows us to increase the conversation between the consumer and the brand. Moreover, in today’s digital world, emotions are an important aspect that must be an indispensable part of any strategy’’.

MARCO is led by Didier Lagae, who has been named European and Global PR Professional of the Year by the PRWeek Global Awards and the Stevie Awards, respectively. Didier is a climate leader for The Climate Reality Project, created by Al Gore, as well as author of the book, Country Brand: A Country as Brand, president of the Country Brand Awards, and executive producer of the docuseries, The New Frontiers of Communication, available on Amazon Prime Video.

Last modified: 24 February, 2022



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