Born and bred in the UK, Paul began his advertising career in Hong Kong in 1999 and has been in the city ever since.
His first big break came at DDB—where he had the blessing and the curse of working on one of the world's most prestigious accounts, Volkswagen. Luckily, his first print work went on to win the agency's first-ever gold at a global award show and recognition at D&AD’s inaugural Global Congress.
Paul’s first Creative Director role then came at Grey in 2006, where his work helped the agency become Hong Kong’s most awarded at The One Show. He was also instrumental in winning, and leading, the highest billing-account for the agency, Hong Kong Tourism Board. The following year, Campaign Brief Asia named Paul the 3rd hottest creative in Hong Kong.
Returning to DDB, he then won 7 Cannes Lions for the agency (including the agency’s first-ever Silver Lion in 2011 and another 2 Silver Lions in 2012). Most notably, his Freshlock and Westone campaigns were instrumental in making DDB the most awarded Hong Kong agency at Cannes, Spikes and AdFest for two years in a row. During this period, Paul was ranked the #1 most-awarded creative in Hong Kong by Campaign Magazine.
During his time at the agency, Paul managed the agency’s largest account, McDonald’s. Taking on an additional regional role, he also led the creative for Unilever’s Lipton brand across 7 countries in Asia-Pacific, pitched and won Pepsi’s Tropicana Twister account across Asia-Pacific and developed creative for Wrigley’s Skittles brand across Greater China.
Then in 2012, Paul took up the creative helm at Cheil.
Thankfully, he hit the ground running and quickly put the office on the map—helping the agency win its first Cannes Lion in the first year, with One Show Pencils and D&AD Pencils the following year.
Right off the bat, he helped lead Cheil to become one of the most awarded agencies locally at the Kam Fan Awards in 2013—winning Category Best and Gold along the way for its 'NFC Charity Stickers' campaign. This was followed up in 2014 with another Category Best and 2 Golds for 'Reversible Barcode'. Then in 2016, the agency took home the prestigious Kam Fan Grand Prix for its Samsung '#BeTheirEyes' project and again in 2018 for JBL 'Block Out The Chaos 2.0'. Most recently, the agency scored an unprecedented 17-Gold haul and 'Agency of the Year' at Kam Fan 2019.
Under his watch, Cheil has also become one of the most awarded agencies in the world.
The agency has won its first 11 Cannes Lions, 12 D&AD Pencils (including 2 Graphite Pencils at the inaugural D&AD Impact Awards), 9 Gold One Show Pencils (including a 5-Gold haul at One Show 2020), a 6-Gold haul at London International Awards 2017, a 5-Gold haul at Epica 2017, a 6-Gold haul at Ad Stars 2019, a 6-Gold haul at New York Festivals 2020, a Grand Prix and 4-Gold haul at AdFest 2020, 8 Golds at LIA Chinese Creativity, Clio Gold, Lürzer’s Grand Slam Gold, Best of Show at Red Dot and multiple Spikes Asia Golds, AdForum PHNX Golds, Cresta Golds, a winner's gong at the Webbys and more.
In fact, Cheil has consistently punched above its weight—twice winning 'Agency of the Year' at Spikes Asia 2017 & 2019, twice 'Regional Agency of the Year' at London International Awards 2017 & 2019, three-time 'Regional Agency of the Year' at New York Festivals 2018, 2019 & 2020 and 'Agency of the Year' at Kam Fan 2019, LIA Chinese Creativity 2019 and Ad Stars 2019.
More importantly, the agency has grown from being Samsung's in-house agency to becoming a multi-client 4A's agency serving industry-leading brands such as: Samsonite, American Tourister, MTR, Swire, KK Box, Wynn, Sheraton and 1010.
In the 2018 WARC/Gunn Report, Cheil was recognised as the #1 agency in Hong Kong and one of the 'World's Top 50 Creative Agencies'. It also ranked #1 in Hong Kong and #3 in Asia in Campaign Brief Asia’s Creative Rankings 2020—making it two 'Creative Agency of the Year' titles in a row.
In Campaign Brief’s THE WORK, Cheil was Hong Kong's #1-ranked agency for four years running in 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020—most recently ranking #4 overall in Asia.
It also ranked #5 in Asia in the Cannes Lions Global Creativity Report 2019, #1 in APAC in The One Show Global Creative Rankings 2020 and #2 in APAC in The Drum World Creative Rankings 2021 (where it also ranked amongst the Top 5 agencies globally).
Paul himself was Hong Kong's #1-ranked creative for four years running in Campaign Brief Asia’s Creative Rankings and in 2020, he topped the rankings as the #1 ‘Most Awarded Creative in Asia’.
He was also the #1 ‘Most Awarded Copywriter’ globally and #6 ‘Most Awarded Chief Creative Officer’ in The Drum World Creative Rankings 2021.
In 2018, Paul also topped Campaign Brief Asia’s poll of the region's most respected creative leaders to be named ‘Asia's Emerging Creative Leader of the Year’.
As well as being D&AD Jury President in 2021, Paul has judged at every major award show, including: Cannes Lions, D&AD (twice), The One Show (twice), London International Awards (three times), Clio, Spikes Asia (twice), AdFest (three times), Ad Stars, New York Festivals (three times), One Show Greater China, Longxi Nova, Festival Volcán, Citra Pariwara, Taiwan 4As Creative Awards, the Immortal Awards, A-List Hollywood Awards, One Eyeland Awards, Asia Pacific Tambuli Awards and the Lisbon Advertising Festival.
Beyond his passion for the business, Paul is married with a beautiful wife and two very loud kids, none of whom give a flying hoot about his rankings. He has no say in the household.
2012 to present
CHEIL: GCD > ECD > CHIEF CREATIVE DIRECTOR (CCO)
Samsung, Samsonite, American Tourister, Swire, MTR, Wynn, Sheraton,
JBL, New Balance, California Almond Board, Hutchison 3, Texwood, 1010,
3M, RainLily, KK Box, Unicef, Save the Children, Life Nutrition.
2008 to 2012
DDB: CREATIVE DIRECTOR > REGIONAL CREATIVE DIRECTOR
McDonald’s, Lipton (Regional), Pepsi Tropicana (Regional), Skittles (China),
Westone, Freshlock, Volkswagen, Reebok, HK CancerFund, Orbis, FT,
Penguin Books, City of Dreams, Lee Kum Kee.