Ben Lilley


A creative to the core, Ben began his career in the creative departments of some of Australia’s most respected ad agencies, including George Patterson, McCann and DDB Needham, where he received numerous international awards for his work before launching his own full-service creative agency SMART in 2000.

With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland and Auckland, SMART was acclaimed for its work for brands including adidas, ANZ Bank, Coca Cola, Dulux, Ferrero, Levi’s, McDonald’s, News Limited, SEEK, Specsavers, Unilever and Vodafone. Before its acquisition by McCann Worldgroup, SMART was an indie creative force, recognised in numerous global award shows, and as a B&T Agency Employer of the Year and a BRW Fast100 company.

In his time as McCann’s Australian Chairman & CEO, Ben ushered the agency into a period of further creative excellence that saw McCann Melbourne named the world’s most awarded creative agency and Australia’s most effective agency, and achieved global acclaim most notably for its “Dumb Ways to Die” campaign for Metro Trains – the most awarded campaign in advertising history.

Ben has a consistent ability to foster and inspire creative success. As Asia Pacific Creative Leadership Chair for McCann Worldgroup, he set new creative and effectiveness records for McCann’s APAC markets. As a passionate believer in the power of creativity and its ability make real change, Ben is a driving force behind our culture of enthusiasm for creative problem-solving.

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