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Staffing Changes at Y&R, Hawthorne Direct, And More

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Ronny Northrop is now ECD at Y&R California. Northrop, who will report to CCO Mimi Cook in the agency’s San Francisco office, previously spent extended stints as a copywriter at CP+B and creative director at GS&P. Before joining Y&R, he spent time freelancing for 72andSunny, Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners and others. While Northrop’s resume indicates that he joined Y&R in February, AdAge mentioned the change for the first time today.

Hawthorne Direct promoted John Pucci to the position of Chief Marketing & Creative Officer. Pucci, who joined the agency in 2011, has served as SVP/CCO since 2013; in his new role he will oversee all “marketing, publicity and promotional activities.” Prior to joining Hawthorne, Pucci served as ECD at Havas Edge in Hollywood, and his recent agency history includes SVP/ECD stints at Publicis and RAPP. Earlier in his career, he worked as art director at Saatchi & Saatchi, held the GCD position at DDB LA, and served as a partner at TracyLocke.

He has also worked in-house for organizations as varied as Walt Disney World, E! Networks and Mattel.

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Momentum Worldwide Names New ECD

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Matt Denten is the latest ECD to change agencies, moving from Arc Worldwide to Momentum Worldwide effective next Monday.

Mr. Denten has yet to appear on this site, but it’s certainly not due to a lack of experience: over sixteen years at Arc in Chicago, he has held nearly every creative position from AD to SVP/CD. In his most recent role there, he served as GCD on the Coca-Cola and MillerCoors accounts, and he worked for several years on both Kellogg’s and McDonald’s.

Denten’s most acclaimed roles to date have been those of creative director on the Coke “Arctic Home” campaign, with its polar bears and decorative cans, and the Miller High Life Veterans project, which welcomed vets home with cans of beer.

His full title will be SVP, Midwest Creative Director, and he will lead Momentum’s teams based in Chicago and St. Louis. The press release’s client list includes U.S. Army, Mondelēz International, United Airlines, Energy Upgrade California, and Constellation Wines.

CEO Chris Weil writes, “He is a creative force—a fine balance of inspiration, passion and process—and an experienced leader of large creative teams.”

Grey London Names Nils Leonard Chairman

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Grey London announced yesterday that Chief Creative Officer Nils Leonard is being promoted to the role of chairman. Leonard will continue on in his previous role while also being tasked with driving innovation across the company.

Leonard first joined Grey London back in 2007, becoming an executive creative director and then chief creative officer at the agency. Prior to Grey London, Leonard served as head of art/creative director at United and senior designer/art director at Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO. Prior to that he spent five years as head of art/design at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R. Among his best-known work at Grey London is Vodafone’s “Kiss” and McVities recent campaign featuring kittens and puppies, which Time magazine called “the cutest thing ever put on television.” Read more

Former Team Detroit ECD Joins Google

Scott LangeSan Francisco isn’t the only city losing agency staffers to Google.

Today we learned that Scott Lange, formerly EVP and ECD at WPP’s Team Detroit, also joined the “Don’t Be Evil” company in a creative role this month.

All we know for sure is that Lange’s title is currently “creative lead” at Google’s The Zoo, or the self-described “creative innovation group and ‘agency for agencies.’” He is still based in Detroit, as he has been for many years.

Lange has an extensive history over a period of more than fifteen years in the ad business: he held AD and CD positions at the Detroit offices of FCB, Lowe Campbell Ewald, BBDO and Organic before joining Team Detroit, where he worked on campaigns for Ford, Lincoln and others.

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GS&P Director of Talent Heads to Google

Zach CanfieldThanks to a tipster and our friendly neighborhood LinkedIn, we can confirm that an ad industry veteran has moved to either the dark or light side (depending on your perspective).

Zach Canfield, who has nearly fifteen years of experience in creative recruiting and director of talent roles with GS&P and Wieden+Kennedy, is now global creative recruiting lead at Google.

We have no details regarding his move, but it would appear that the West Coast’s tech titans are now actively poaching talent from local agencies (not that this is a new development). While Canfield doesn’t have creative credits on campaigns, he does have many recommendations for “creative direction.” On his profile he writes, “I’ve been lucky enough to work with and hire some of the best creatives in the world,” so we assume he played a role in hiring a few of the creatives mentioned on this very blog.

His only appearance on AgencySpy to date came back in July, when we shared an image of GS&P’s new reception area. The critical response was…divided.

72andSunny Opens Up Shop in New York, Hires Guillermo Vega as ECD

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72andSunny has just opened up 72andSunny New York, a 13,000 square foot office located on the top two floors of 30 Cooper Square in the East Village.

“We think we’re better for being part of the New York creative community—and we think we can make it a little better by being there,” said Chief Strategy Officer Matt Jarvis.

The agency also announced the hiring of Guillermo Vega, formerly executive creative director of Wieden+Kennedy São Paulo, as executive creative director of the New York office. Vega helped found W+K São Paulo, bringing it from a shop with three employees to one with over a hundred over the course four years, while winning clients such as Nike, Coca Cola, Levi’s, and Heineken. Prior to W+K, Vega spent over 13 years at Y&R, where he rose to regional creative director and oversaw Latin America from the Y&R headquarters in New York.

Vega will lead 72andSunny’s New York office along with managing director James Townsend, who will be relocating to New York from the Los Angeles office. While with 72andSunny in Los Angeles, Townsend worked with clients such as Samsung, ESPN, Truth and will continue to lead the Samsung brand from New York.

72andSunny’s New York staff currently consists of “40 designers, writers, strategists, social media planners, brand managers, and content production people” and they will initially focus on the Samsung and Smirnoff brands. Read more

Andreas Dahlqvist Joins Grey NY as CCO

Andreas DWunderman isn’t the only New York agency to name a new chief creative officer today. This morning, principals at Grey NY announced the hiring of Andreas Dahlqvist.

Dahlqvist, who co-founded DDB Stockholm in 2004 and served as ECD/managing partner there for several years, most recently held the titles of vice chairman, McCann New York and deputy global CCO for brands within the larger McCann organization (which he joined in 2011).

He also served as global CCO at the GM-focused Commonwealth//McCann, and his name appears atop all of that agency’s latest campaigns. His most memorable AgencySpy appearance to date occurred as part of the dress-alike project “Partnerganger,” which may or may not have been inspired by the Ogilvy tumblr “Work Twinsies.”

The release tells us that the new CCO, who has won “every major creative award,” will oversee Grey’s entire 500-strong creative department. President/Worldwide CCO Tor Myhren writes:

“Few people in this industry have done what Andreas has…started his own agency from scratch and built it into the best digital agency on the planet.”

Dahlqvist will report to/work closely with Myrhen and North American CEO Michael Houston.

Memo from those two after the jump.

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Wunderman NY Names Toni Hess CCO

toni hessToday Jamie Gallo — who recently joined Wunderman as president of its New York office after stints as president at TBWA\Chiat\Day and EVP of marketing at the NBA — announced that Toni Hess would be the agency’s newest CCO. She effectively replaces Nick Moore, who left Wunderman in early 2014 and currently serves as ECD at Publicis’ ROAR in New York.

We most recently heard from Hess in 2013, when she parted ways with Rosetta. She served as partner and ECD at the agency for nearly four years before leaving in a staffing shift that occurred two years after its Publicis Groupe acquisition and also led to the departure of CCO Gary Scheiner.

Prior to joining Rosetta, Hess held ACD and GCD positions at Publicis Seattle as well as JWT and FCB New York; her work during that time included campaigns for Diet Coke, Pfizer, Kraft, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft and many more.

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Staffing Cuts at Hill Holliday

Hill_holliday_logoLast month, we broke the news that key Hill Holliday client Cadillac was “quietly talking to other agencies” before the account officially went to Lowe Campbell Ewald.

Tips about pending cuts began arriving soon after the news went live, and today we can confirm that the agency has let some staffers go over the past few days. Following a string of wildly inaccurate tips, we received a call and an official statement from an agency spokesperson, who placed the number of layoffs at less than five percent of the total Hill Holliday workforce.

Here’s the statement:

“We have recently made some necessary staffing adjustments to ensure the future success and growth of the agency. While it’s never easy to make hard decisions like this, we are confident these changes will better position us for continued success. Our industry is changing at a rapid pace, and like any responsible business we must adjust accordingly, and embrace that change as opportunity.”

According to Glassdoor, that “less than five percent” total includes between 25 and 50 employees, many of whom presumably spent time on the Cadillac account.

Tips vary on specifics: one reader tells us that cuts began in the HR department last week and another claims that management officially announced creative layoffs today. The latter also writes that a majority of those affected worked in the creative department.

Updates as we receive them.

Nissan Marketing Chief Throws Shade at the Agency World

Roel de VriesRoel de Vries is the corporate VP and head of marketing, communications and brand strategy at Nissan.

He also has some less-than-flattering things to say about ad agencies and their ability to learn the new way of doing things.

In a recent interview, de Vries tells The Drum that “everyone is pitching the latest idea to everybody”…and he doesn’t much care for it:

“If we look at all the analysis, traditional media is still doing extremely well, and it’s not because traditional media is more powerful, it’s because we and our agencies are still in the learning process of how we engage people.”

Sound familiar?

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