In Conversation with Zak Mroueh
He’s the fearless leader and founder of Zulu Alpha Kilo, recently named Campaign US’s Independent Agency of the Year as well as The Drum UK’s Agency of the Year. Pretty darn impressive for a guy who started his career in Saatchi & Saatchi’s mailroom. Please join ADCC Chair Andrew Simon as he chats with Zak Mroueh about his amazing journey including being named to Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends. It all goes down Wednesday, June 1st from 12-1 ET. This event will be held using Zoom. Attendees will receive a link to the Zoom meeting the morning of June 1st.
Date and Time
Jun 1, 2022 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
Meet our Speakers
Zak’s track record of creativity and innovation spans 35 years as a writer, creative director, director and entrepreneur. Over this time, he has been recognized as one of the top creative directors in the world by AdAge and been named Canada’s top CD of the year by strategy magazine numerous times throughout his career. In 1987, Zak landed his first job in the mailroom at Saatchi & Saatchi, followed by a year of writing direct mail copy at Sears. From those humble beginnings, he would eventually work at SMW, Chiat\Day, BBDO, and McCann UK. In 1999, he joined a small boutique called TAXI. Under his creative leadership, the agency catapulted to international acclaim and won seven Agency of the Year titles from strategy and Marketing. During this period, he oversaw an array of iconic work for brands like WestJet, Nike, Viagra, Canadian Tire, TELUS, and MINI, helping to cement TAXI’s creative reputation internationally. Then, in 2008, he took the biggest leap of his career and started his own agency in the midst of a recession. Fourteen years later, Zulu Alpha Kilo (aka “ZAK” in the NATO phonetic alphabet) is a thriving 130-person shop. Throughout its history, Zulu has been recognized by international publications such as AdAge, Campaign, and The Drum, as Agency of the Year and one of the top independent shops in the world. In 2018, Zak was featured in Forbes “Top 100 Innovators” issue for his creativity and unconventional approach to business. The journalist behind the feature article? Bo Burlingham, author of New York Times Best Seller Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big. It was a pivotal moment, bringing Zak’s entrepreneurial story full circle, since Burlingham had written the very book that had first inspired him when he started Zulu. In 2021, Zak launched a scholarship program for BIPOC students called 20Doors. The initiative is providing 20 creative scholarships for aspiring writers and art directors over the next five years. It’s his way of giving back by opening the door for 20 of the best and brightest minds. Most recently, Zak was inducted into the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends for his many contributions to the industry. At a time when the ad industry lacks identity, is dominated by global holding companies, and is plagued with eroding margins, Zak’s visionary creative leadership has established him as a maverick of our industry. Having a fearless mentality and being an industry agitator continue to drive Zak forward each and every day. But his biggest source of daily inspiration comes from his wife Amanda, his sons Noah, Liam, and Rhys, and his dog Gibson. Not bad for a guy who got his start in the mailroom.