Craig Mapleston (pictured), currently chief growth officer of iris APAC, is exiting the company after nearly a decade to join another agency in late October, his last day in iris being 12 October 2018. Confirming the move to Marketing, an agency spokesperson said that Mapleston has been instrumental in the agency’s development.
In his current role, Mapleston had worked with iris teams in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, India and Thailand, according to his LinkedIn. He was also responsible for growing key iris clients around the APAC region, and look to establish new iris offices and partnerships in markets of high opportunity.
“On behalf of iris I would like to thank Mapleston for his tireless effort in helping to make the iris brand as forward-thinking and progressive as it is today. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours and are sure his hard work, drive and determination will guarantee him every success,” Luke Nathans, regional CEO, iris Singapore, said in a statement.
Last year, Mapleston relinquished his role as iris Singapore MD to Sorcha John after being promoted to the role of chief growth officer in APAC. Prior to the promotion, Mapleston had held the MD role for a total of eight years, during which he grew the business and expanding the iris Singapore headcount to over 100 people. Prior to his stint with iris, Mapleston worked at BatesAsia /141 Worldwide in Singapore for almost 10 years, and was general manager of Bates141. He was also the general manager of OgilvyAction before that.
On reflections on his time at iris, Mapleston said in a conversation with Marketing that what he liked the most were the people – colleagues and clients one fronts up to everyday and draw inspiration from.
“There is a certain DNA in the people in iris. Entrepreneurial, independently minded, willing to take calculated risks and a respectful camaraderie. These all make it a great place to work,” he said.
Mapleston shared that some of the greatest shifts in clients over the years usually lie in the “massive struggle to reconcile data and creativity”. He explained that the best clients understand that data led insights should lead to more cut-through creativity and better effectiveness.
“Others are forgetting the impact of the best quality creative to drive results. But that aside, the same premises between clients and agencies of aligned objectives, ambition and trust still create the best working relationships and results,” he added.
To be future-ready, Mapleston is of the view that a bit of a “back to the future” mentality is needed. This includes simplifying insights (data or otherwise), a real focus on category defining creativity, and a return to understanding and aligning what both clients and agencies want to achieve through the partnership. He said:
There have been too many hidden agendas for too long.
“The world has been demanding more trusted and transparent relationships. It’s time the advertising and marketing industries took notice,” he added.