CANNES — He had spent six years leading the build-out of GroupM’s programmatic audience-buying division Xaxis in the EMEA region, but now Caspar Schlickum has moved on to another part of the sprawling WPP empire.

Last year, Schlickum left Xaxis to become CEO of Wunderman’s APAC division – a move he says was motivated by a desire to better connect creative messaging to data-driven targeting.

“My move to Wunderman was a very deliberate one,” he explains in this video interview with Beet.TV. “If I think back to my time at Xaxis … we were doing extremely very well targeted media, but often the creative wasn’t really leveraging the opportunities as well as I thought it could be.

“Wunderman gave me the perfect opportunity for that. It was a very natural fit to go from the media-and-data side to the creative-and-data side.”

Wunderman is the network of ad agencies first founded in 1958 by Lester Wunderman and others, believed the be the onset of the direct marketing discipline .The agency developed the first customer rewards program with American Express.

Whilst Schlicukm remains excited about the application of data in advertising, he is seeking a better balance.

“One of my old colleagues, Oleg Vishnepolsky, said, ‘Technology allows you to make a million mistakes a second’. That really resonated with me. Technology is very powerful but is actually just an enabler.

“Understanding the role of automation means understanding data and creative as well as the technology that enables a new type of connection between those two things.”