We’ve been hearing about this since last Friday, and now it appears to be so as sources familiar with the matter confirm that JWT has parted ways with Lynda Wicker, who has spent well over a decade serving as human resources director at the agency. Wicker has worked out of the WPP-owned agency’s Atlanta office and we’ve been told that there are plans to replace he (as one would think). From what we’re hearing, JWT ATL/Houston/Dallas chief creative officer Perry Fair is addressing staff regarding Wicker’s departure, which goes into effect today. We’ll let you know if and when we hear more.
J. Walter Thompson
JWT Brazil chief integration officer Mauro Cavalletti and his crew continue their string of quirky projects (remember this?) with this latest app called “91 Rock Clock,” which will wake your ass up–but in progressive fashion–as it veers from soft AM gold to heavier rock tunes (think Metallica and Sepultura). Think of it as a snooze button with distortion. In case you’re not based in South America, 91 Rock Radio is a rock radio staple in SA and…well, let the video above explain things. We’re light sleepers, so we’d probably spring out of bed during an REO Speedwagon track, but if you’re into it, you can go here or here to download the app. Credits after the jump.
We’re checking with the Moxie camp on exact titles/start date, but for now, we’ve received confirmation that Rob Bloom, who has spent the last two years as a senior copywriter at JWT’s Atlanta office, is joining up with, yep, fellow ATL agency Moxie Interactive.
From what we’re hearing, Bloom is reuniting with his old JWT Atlanta partner-in-crime, art director Ryan Taylor at Moxie and that both will assume the role of ACD at the latter agency. During their time together at JWT ATL, Bloom and Taylor worked on accounts including Quaker State, U.S. Virgin Islands, SCANA Energy and the Marines. If you care, you can check out an interview with the pair about a certain SCANA project from last year here. Prior to JWT, Bloom served as a copywriter at the likes of Atlanta-based IQ Interactive.
JWT New York has confirmed that as of today, it’s decided to part ways with co-chief creative officer Ryan Kutscher, who has been with the agency for less than a year. JWT NY would not comment beyond the confirmation, but as a result of its move, the creative leadership at the office now rests in the hands of Kutscher’s now-former partner-in-crime Matt MacDonald and JWT North America CCO, Jeff Benjamin.
Kutscher joined JWT NY as MacDonald’s co-CCO after spending five years at CP+B, where he last served as creative director and worked on VW as well as the award-winning “Whopper Freakout.” He and MacDonald replaced Peter Nicholson as JWT NY’s top creatives last May.
We’ve received confirmation that Tim Wettstein, who has been with JWT’s Atlanta office for just a year, is no longer with the agency. During his brief stint at the agency, where he most recently served as senior partner/group creative director, Wettstein served as GCD on efforts including Scana Energy’s “Affairs of the Flame” campaign as well as work for Jiffy Lube, XBOX and Gillette. Prior to JWT, Wettstein spent four years at BBDO New York, where he worked with brands including PETA and Autism Speaks. Here’s one example of his work for the former client here.
Above, you’ll see Wettstein to your left along with JWT ATL CCO Perry Fair and Dana Markee, the last of whom was cut last summer. We’re hearing they were among Fair’s first new hires when he took over as president/CCO at JWT’s Atlanta/Dallas/Houston offices in 2011.
Yeah, the time change didn’t work in our favor, but yes kids, we are here and broadcasting as well as we can. After flight delays and getting our badge just in the nick of time last night before the Austin Convention Center shut down, we hit up the JWT party at Lustre Pearl. Following a brief encounter down the street with a very cordial Alex Jones, who was doing his usual ranting and raving fresh off a protest downtown, we ventured down Driskill and encountered the homely spot, Lustre Pearl, where JWT played host to the band, Walk Off the Earth (below). Gotye cover aside, we were not so enthused with the multi-instrumental act, which sounded like a jam-band version of Arcade Fire, if that’s possible.
Nevertheless, talking shit with industry heads and all the JWT top brass including Jeff Benjamin, Mauro Cavelletti and Perry Fair, the last of whom is promoting the agency’s pop-up shop, Walter, was fine enough. Besides, don’t tell me you wouldn’t dance like an idiot in a sea of fog to Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” if you didn’t just retain a major client. We will be hitting up Draftfcb, Crowdtap and Barbarian events tonight and will promptly be in bed my midnight. But we’ll talk to you beforehand with some panel thoughts.
According to Campaign, HSBC has finally made its decision on who will handle its approximately $650 million global ad account and it’s sizable enough so that it will be not one, but three of the five agencies that were shortlisted last year (McCann dropped out in November and BBDO was the other). The financial institution has chosen incumbent JWT, Grey London and Saatchi Saatchi, with the first two taking on lead agency duties while the third will service HSBC’s premier and wealth business globally.
Regarding the five-month process to get to this point, HSBC group GM/global head of marketing Chris Clark, tells Campaign, among other things, “This has been an exhaustive and thorough review, with input from our four global businesses and five regions, and we’re extremely grateful for the contributions and professionalism of all the agencies involved.”
Check out the full story here.
Update: We’ve received a memo from sources that went out globally to staff today from JWT Europe/London CEO, Toby Hoare, who has been with the agency since 2005. Peep it after the jump.
We’ve been sitting on this since just after 3pm today but now we’ve received word that after well over three months of searching/reviewing, “woo hoo” brand Vonage (I can attest that Indian folks love it) has shifted ad duties to JWT NY. We received a tip at 3:08 that “[North American CEO David] Eastman & [North American CCO Jeff] Benjamin @ JWT NY just held a town hall mtg to announce winning the Vonage account” and according to the telecom brand’s CMO Barbara Goodstein, this is why: “Advertising is one of the most public-facing manifestations of Vonage’s business strategy, and we selected JWT and Horizon after a very competitive review, in which all of the agencies showed an impressive effort and high-quality work. We are excited to partner with both agencies as we continue to develop new ways to engage consumers through personally relevant, high-impact creative coupled with media that drives efficient response.”
JWT and Horizon Media take over for TBWA\Chiat\Day NY on the creative and media business, respectively. Work from both will commence on March 1. Vox Profero continues to handle Hispanic assignments for Vonage, and Harte-Hanks continues to handle direct mail. From what we’re hearing, the media spend has now increased to $160 million from past figures.
We’ve received confirmation that Jill Applebaum, who’s spent nearly two years at Draftfcb New York, is heading to JWT’s Big Apple hub. From what we’ve been told, Applebaum is starting her new gig as a creative director at JWT on Jan 2 (tipsters add that she’ll be working on Skinny Cow and Smirnoff North America among other accounts). During her time at DFCB NY, Applebaum not only helped lead creative on the SeaWorld business, but was also a CD on the agency’s notable work for Oreo including the “Pride Cookie” and its Wicked Witch of the West-styled Halloween effort, which earned some props from Buzzfeed.
According to those in the know, Applebaum will work at Draft NY through year’s end. Prior to joining said agency, Applebaum spent over a decade at Y&R/BrandBuzz, moving up from ACD to creative director and working with clients such as Burt’s Bees, Jaguar, Dymo, Sharpie and LG. During her career, the creative vet also spent time at DMB&B and Ogilvy.
We gave it a shot, but it didn’t provoke the same kind of reaction from the folks above, which basically borders on orgasmic. Anyhow, here’s this clip promoting the new, apparently sensual site for JWT Amsterdam, which has worked with clients ranging from Nestle to Shell to Nokia. As the video notes at the end, there were no hash brownies or any other illicit substances involved…or so they have us believe.