Bonnie Wan

Partner, Head of Brand Strategy

Bonnie, partner and head of brand strategy at GS&P, is reimagining the reach and role of strategy for brands as well as for everyday people. 

Since coming to the agency in 1998, Bonnie has expanded GS&P’s strategic offerings to include new revenue streams, offerings such as Brand Camp, a concentrated, radically collaborative, six-week strategy sprint that helps client leadership teams author and align around ownable, actionable brand strategies. Brand Camp gives clients a safe space in which to get honest and make the tough yet necessary trade-offs that open the way for sharp and standout strategies.

Originally developed for start-ups in 2016, Brand Camp is driving much of GS&P’s growth. The model has expanded GS&P’s ability to attract businesses of all sizes and stages, to engage brands across client portfolios and to offer a new way for companies to harness GS&P’s strategic expertise. 

Recognized by Ad Age and Campaign as a finalist for Chief Strategist of the Year in 2019 and 2020, Bonnie has also been the lead on projects that have resulted in some of GS&P’s most notable work. Recently this has included Comcast/Xfinity’s holiday work starring Steve Carell, HP’s “Windows of Hope” campaign and the agency’s work combating police brutality, racial injustice and violence against Asians through the “Not a Gun” campaign and the innovative “Respond2Racism” Twitter activation. 

Beyond the industry at large, Bonnie is using strategy to transform how everyday people approach life. As the creator of “The Life Brief,” Bonnie helps people live with greater clarity, creativity and courage by teaching them how to write briefs for their lives. “The Life Brief” is a practice based on her belief that “you cannot have it all, but you can have all that matters.”

“The Life Brief” has evolved from an agency talk into a workbook, workshops and recurring speaking appearances at Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, Jane Goodall’s Activating Hope summit, the 3% Conference, SXSW, Bain & Company and Change.org. Most recently, Simon & Schuster has signed on to publish The Life Brief as a book. 

She lives in San Anselmo, California, with her husband and four kids.

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Partner

Brian McPherson

Managing Partner

For 20 years, Brian has been happy to call GS&P home.

Over that time he has led accounts in nearly every major category, from banking to telecom to technology to packaged goods and most things in between. He has been involved in work that has won many times over for creativity at Cannes as well as for effectiveness at the Effies. He currently leads the Frito-Lay and Adobe accounts at GS&P and is particularly proud of these long-standing client relationships of more than 10 years each.

Since 2007 Brian has also run the account management department. He enjoys overseeing the direction of the department, developing its people and recruiting and training new talent. He’s interested in how advertising is evolving and what that means for modern-day account work. He has written often about both subjects in a number of industry publications, including Ad Age.

Brian considers himself lucky to have grown up at GS&P, where he scored his first job after completing his MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Arizona and his undergraduate degree from Queen’s University in Canada.

Outside of work he spends his days in Mill Valley with his wife, Kate; his golden retriever, Moose (who, they swore, would never sleep on the bed but does); and his newborn son, Henry.

Twitter:
@brianfromcanada
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San Francisco, Partner

Leslie Barrett

Managing Partner

Born in Zurich, Switzerland, Leslie moved to the US at the age of 13. She began her advertising career at Anderson & Lembke, where she worked on Microsoft for three years. 

During her 20-year tenure at GS&P, she has led the Wall Street Journal, SBC, HP, Emerald Nuts, Subway, Denny’s, Logitech, TD Ameritrade, Nickelodeon, SONIC Drive-Ins and Häagen-Dazs accounts. 

Barrett’s teams have consistently developed work awarded for both creativity and effectiveness. She currently oversees the BMW, HP, Comcast/Xfinity, PayPal and One Medical accounts, among others.

Over the years Barrett has led a number of the agency’s new business wins and, as a result, became director of new business in 2014. She was named a partner in 2016.

She lives with her two daughters in Mill Valley. It’s beautiful, but it’s no Switzerland.

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San Francisco, Partner

Margaret Johnson

Chief Creative Officer and Partner

Margaret is a 25-year veteran of GS&P and leads the agency’s Creative department, a position she assumed in 2015 after being named a partner in 2012. In 2016 she was named the agency’s first Chief Creative Officer.

Under her leadership, GS&P was named the “Most Innovative Advertising Agency” and the 36th “Most Innovative Company” in the world by Fast Company in 2021, “Agency of the Year” by Campaign and Forbes with Ad Age picking the agency as a runner-up to “Agency of the Year” in 2019 and 2020. In 2021 Ad Age crowned Margaret “Chief Creative Officer of the Year” and Campaign named Margaret “Creative Person of the Year.” Over the years, she has been recognized as one of the industry’s top chief creative officers by ForbesBusiness InsiderAdweek and The Drum.

Margaret serves on the board of the One Show, was a founding member of the 3% conference and co-founded non-profit Daughters of the Evolution with her 12-year-old daughter, Vivian. In 2019, the non-profit created Lessons in HerStory, an app that was launched at SXSW and uses augmented reality to celebrate stories of women typically omitted from history textbooks. Over the past year, the app won every coveted creative award, including Gold Cannes Lions and the prestigious White Pencil at D&AD. 

 

Twitter:
@maggiejca
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San Francisco, Partner