Well, we tried to put two and two together when we reported last week about DJ Pierce resigning from his position as executive creative director on the BMW account at KBS+. But alas, we unfortunately failed to mention what the status was with his partner-in-crime and fellow ECD on BMW, Michael Craven, who joined up with Pierce 15 months ago to work on the account. We’ve now received confirmation that Pierce and Craven actually resigned together, though no word yet on what either person’s next move is yet (we’re checking). Prior to KBS+, Craven served as a VP/creative director at CP+B and has also published a couple of novels along the way.
After seeing the reports ast week that Paul Renner was assuming the position of executive creative director on BMW at KBS+, one had to wonder what the status was with DJ Pierce, who rejoined said agency two years ago to take on the same role. Well, it does appear that Renner has succeeded Pierce more or less as sources familiar with the matter have confirmed that the latter has indeed turned in his resignation. From what sources in the know tell us, Pierce will part ways with KBS+ on June 1 and spies add that he’ll then turn his attention to his own projects, whatever they may be.
Pierce rejoined KBS+ after spending four years at CP+B, where he eventually moved up to creative director and was involved on projects including Best Buy’s Titanium Grand Prix-winning”Twelpforce” as well as with other accounts including AmEx small business along the way.
Waiting for Lightning, a new documentary about longtime skateboarder Danny Way, did not get good reviews. However, in an effort to drum up some needed publicity, the film’s producers called on N.Y. agency kbs+ to design a gnarly website that will get the 40-year-old stoners who remember Way in his prime to spend their cash on an iTunes download. The endeavor may be futile since 40-year-old extreme sports stoners probably don’t care much for web design, but kbs+ created a unique site with “60-degree diagonal parallax scrolling” where users can navigate the site’s pages on a diagonal axis, mirroring the motion of a board rolling down a vert ramp.
On the site, you can check out backstory for Way and related content about the history of extreme sports in the 90s. Cast and crew notes are also available, but most viewers will find themselves drawn to the athlete interviews in the “Cult of Gnarly” section (which is a phrase most of us can only say in our heads for fear of ridicule). I still have no intention of seeing the movie, but cutting across the computer screen diagonally does have some brief novelty appeal. Credits after the jump.
It took a few weeks to get confirmation on this, but we now have word from sources familiar with the matter that Matt Weiss is indeed leaving KBS+P (or KBS+ as the kids call it nowadays). Weiss has spent the last two-and-a-half years as chief of staff at the MDC-owned, New York-based agency, but from what sources tell us, he is parting ways with KBS+ for a gig at Havas. Our sources add, though, that Weiss won’t officially join the latter agency until Feb. 1 (no word yet on what his new position will be).
Prior to KBS+, Weiss spent nearly 15 years at McCann Worldgroup, last serving as EVP/chief growth officer. During his lengthy stint at the latter network,the exec held senior level positions including group account director for Coca-Cola North America and worldwide account director for MasterCard.
In other KBS+ news, the agency has recently welcomed Michael Dory to the fold as executive director of technology, a position that also calls for him to lead the engineering practice of the Spies & Assassins unit. In addition to Dory’s hiring, KBS+ also promoted Christine Prins to head of business development.
Well, looks like the Adweek report from earlier this afternoon was true, though our sources stop short of confirming anything related to contract renewals, etc. But yes, we have received confirmation from those in the know that MDC/KBS+P chief innovation officer Faris Yakob is indeed leaving the agency. No timetable has been set for his departure, but Yakob’s duties will be absorbed by the management team. From what sources familiar with the matter tell us, Yakob’s departure marks a new phase at MDC/KBS+P, which now believes it’s everyone’s job at the agency to “drive the culture of innovation.”
During his time within the MDC/KBS+P fold, Yakob also founded its in-house creative technology boutique, Spies & Assassins. Prior to his most recent gig, the departing exec/regular speaker served as EVP, chief technology strategist at McCann and has worked at the likes of OMD and Naked during his career.
Just over a year after officially joining KBS+P as content strategy lead, my old Crain colleague Jonah Bloom has moved up the ranks, taking on the role of chief strategy officer at the New York-based MDC agency. Bloom (pictured) replaces Mick McCabe, who had spent the last two-and-a-half years as CSO at KBS+P but is moving on to a new opportunity (sources tell us that he didn’t apprise KBS+P of his next destination).
Explaining Bloom’s new role, KBS+ CEO Lori Senecal says, “”Consumers’ digital and social behaviors cannot be considered in isolation from their other behaviors. This is particularly true as mobile devices blur the lines between online and offline behavior. It’s important to recognize that and reflect it in the way we think about brands and their connections with consumers. That’s why we are integrating all of our strategic planning into one group, under Jonah’s direction.”
As Senecal mentioned, Bloom’s move up signifies a reorganization of KBS+P’s strategy offering, which will now incorporate digital, content and social as well as brand strategy.
Sources familiar with the matter confirm that Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners has parted ways with Steven Thibodeau, who had served as both chief digital officer at the agency and president of its Dotglu division. Thibodeau spent nearly 11 years at KBS+P, which he joined after a brief stint as EVP, director of interactive marketing at the now-defunct Fallon New York.
During his career, the exec has worked as a managing director at Scient, which was eventually merged into Razorfish, and on the account/management side at shops like Ammirati & Puris Lintas that were later absorbed by Lowe & Partners. We’re trying to find out the reason behind Thibodeau’s departure from KBP+S and are expecting some sort of answer soon. We’ll keep you posted.
Update: KBS+P has confirmed Thibodeau’s departure, saying it was his decision to move on after spending 11 years at the agency and helping build its digital presence. From what we’ve been told, Thibodeau has left to focus on other projects including his not-for profit organization ‘LOVE’ that he co-founded with his wife several years ago.
While we’re on the MDC-related front, let’s tell you that New York-based Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners has hired Michael Craven (right) as executive creative director on BMW among other clients. As a result, he’ll team up with fellow ECD DJ Pierce, who if you recall rejoined KBS+P last May, on the automaker’s account. Craven’s previous agency experience includes a stint at CP+B, where he moved up from senior copywriter to VP/CD before leaving to work on his second book early last year (his first, Body Copy, was published in 2009 and set in the ad industry).
In addition to Craven’s arrival, KBS+P promoted creative director Jon Goldberg to ECD. The creative has been with Kirshenbaum for nearly four years, leading the Vanguard business in the process (which he still does). Prior to KBS+P, he spent time at the likes of W+K Portland and New York as a copywriter and ACD/copywriter at McCann.
A source familiar with the matter tells us that “Heineken USA [is]taking the communication strategy to Mexico, as a result of the regional synergies.” OK, we’re not sure what this exactly means, but nearly two months after consolidating its global media management, we’re hearing that Heineken International is restructuring all of its marketing efforts…yet again.
When reached for comment, a Heineken spokesperson said, “We have a policy that we do not comment on rumor or speculation, but we don’t confirm or deny it.” To quote the great Mike Patton, “What is ‘it’?” We shall find out what’s happening soon, but we’ve been told that Heineken and KBS+P’s Ramona (formerly Adrenalina) still maintain a relationship via Tecate, though whether it’s on retainer or project basis has yet to be determined.
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