Communication agency Cheil | Centrade, the Southeast Europe hub for Cheil Worldwide Network, announces the appointment of Mihai Gongu as Executive Creative Director Southeast Europe, marking the return of one of the most successful Romanian creatives of the last decade.
"Mihai brings valuable experience to our team, in terms of creative work and the ability to lead our creative ambitions by developing solid partnerships with clients, and work with international teams in an industry shaped today by technology," Radu Florescu, CEO of Cheil | Centrade South-East Europe, said. "I am confident that his know-how is well suited to integrate our vision for the future and that together we will be able to generate the ideal mix of data analysis and creative work in order to develop strategic and impactful campaigns for our clients".
"In recent years, I had the chance to discover new cultures, new technologies, new platforms, and professionals from all over the world. I have learned to lead and develop talent that brings our work to another level. I believe that Romania will become an exporter of strategic consultation and creativity and I look forward to applying everything I have learned to the agency’s client portfolio," Mihai added.
Mihai returns to the country having spent several years in top independent agencies on two continents. Beginning in 2017, he was the European Creative Director in Jung von Matt / Spree in Berlin, where he created the Cannes and D&AD award-winning BMW campaigns, the latest MINI Clubman and Countryman John Cooper Works, the most viewed viral film in Thomas Cook Airlines’ history, a music video against salaries discrimination for OhYouWomen, and several support campaigns for Reporters Without Borders. Since 2018 he has been the EDC of TOMORROW Shanghai, with whom he has won the title of Campaign Asia Boutique Agency of the Year for Greater China for the work for Pernod Ricard (Absolut and Ballantine's) and where he has won multiple pitches for brands such as AirAsia, Burberry, Lululemon, Rituals, and Kohler.
His international portfolio adds to an impressive career in Romania’s local advertising market. Mihai started his career in 2003 at Leo Burnett Romania, where he won the Campaign of the Year at Ad'Or in his first year in the industry. He then joined the Graffiti BBDO team, receiving the Agency of the Year trophies at both the Effie Awards and the ADC Awards, and signed the first Grand Prix-winning campaign at both festivals, for Pepsi. In the BBDO network, Mihai had regional coordination roles: from the Bucharest office for Whiskas and Dacia, and from the Berlin office for Allianz.
Before leaving for Germany, Mihai headed the GMP Advertising's creative department and signed with co-signed team campaigns for Gândul, Telekom, Timişoreana, Ciucaş, Coca-Cola, Volkswagen, OMV Petrom, and Rompetrol, and winning two Independent Agency of New Europe trophies at Golden Drum, the first Romanian PR Grand Prix at Eurobest and an honorable 7th place in the Global Effie Index for independent agencies.
Mihai has also been a member of numerous efficiency and creativity festivals such as Effie, Eurobest, ADC Europe, New York Festivals, Ad Stars KIAF, Intercontinental Cup, AutoVision Awards, WINA, and Golden Drum, at the last two from the Jury President position. He has also been involved in the training of young generations of creatives, as Integrated Advertising Professor at the Miami Ad School Berlin, where he has also earned a D&AD New Blood Pencil trophy, and as Professor at the ADC School and the Cannes Lions Academy.
In Cheil | Centrade, Mihai will lead a creative team of 20 specialists with complete capabilities of brand work, amplification on all channels, digital content, UX and design. The recent customer portfolio includes prestigious brands like Samsung, Raiffeisen Bank, Dr. Oetker, Mondelez, Procter & Gamble, Point PickUp.
ABOUT CHEIL | CENTRADE
Fully integrated in the Cheil Worldwide network - „The Network Built for Now”, Cheil | Centrade has transformed itself from an advertising agency into a full service digital, data-driven provider of integrated digital creative solutions. Cheil | Centrade is a top-tier communications company in Romania and a regional hub for South-East Europe, covering a total of 11 markets. It is headquartered in Bucharest and has local offices in Belgrade, Budapest, and Zagreb. The agency aims to build clients’ business and reputation through strong, insightful communications ideas that generate value to clients, communities and employees.