Maybe you’ve heard the news, but while we anxiously await Turkey Day, let us sound like a broken record and tell you that Organic has finally found a replacement for chief creative officer, Conor Brady, who parted ways with Organic over the summer and headed to Huge. The Omnicom-owned Organic has tapped David Bryant, former Google creative strategist and not to mention Publicis as well as StrawberryFrog ECD, digital (remember this?), to serve as its new chief creative officer.
Along with Bryant, Organic has appointed former Digitas SVP, talent acquisition and retention , Mark Murata (who spent just over a year at said agency), as its chief talent officer.
And so, the management shifts at Organic continue. Following the departure of CCO Conor Brady last month and the changing of the guards at the CEO position last week, the Omnicom agency has confirmed that Steve Kerho is soon leaving the ranks. Kerho has been with Organic for the last four years, working out of the L.A. office and serving as SVP/analytics, media and marketing optimization. An agency spokesperson tells us, “Steve has been a tireless leader on Organic’s executive management team since 2008, and we thank him for his contributions and wish him the best in his new endeavor.”
Sources familiar with the matter add that Kerho’s last day at Organic is August 3 and he is leaving the agency business for a publishing-side opportunity in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Organic, Kerho worked in media/planning/strategy on the client side for automakers including Nissan and Mazda.
We can call this foreshadowing, but on June 29, a tipster told us, “Marita Scarfi‘s days are numbered at Organic.” Well, let’s fast-forward a few weeks to present day and tell you that the Omnicom-owned digital agency (which also lost its CCO recently) basically realized this comment and has indeed appointed a new CEO in David Shulman. A few months ago, we reported on Shulman’s departure from Wunderman, where he spent two years as president. During that time, we were told he was taking a “lead global position,” so…voila. Schulman will officially assume his new chief exec role at Organic on August 1.
As you’d expect, BBDO Worldwide CEO Andrew Robertston (Organic is a part of said agency) gushes about the new hire, saying in a statement, “He is a leader, an innovator, a business builder, and he is great with clients. He built Digitas in Detroit into a 200-person operation. He co-founded a software development firm in Ukraine, and in his time at Wunderman, he reorganized its operations, attracted new talent, deepened existing client relationships and landed new business, most recently, the global digital agency of record for Levi’s. I first met him last year and I am delighted that we have persuaded him to join.”
Over the last hour, the Spy line has been buzzing that Organic chief creative officer Conor Brady, who has been with the Omnicom agency for six years, is moving on. No official word yet from the Organic camp, but we’re hearing that Brady, who you may recognize from the Organic 2011 holiday card above, is possibly joining up with IPG-owned, Brooklyn-based HUGE. We’re checking in with both camps and are awaiting feedback.
Brady joined Organic as a GCD in 2006 after spending six years as a creative director at Razorfish. As CCO at Organic for the last three years, Brady recently oversaw creative on one of our most-viewed items of 2011. We’ll keep you posted as things develop.
Update: While we’re not sure where Brady is headed to next, here’s a quick statement from an Organic spokesperson to confirm things: “Conor has been instrumental in making Organic the strong creative brand it is today. We thank him for his six years here and wish him the best in future endeavors.”
There’s not a whole lot to go on here at the moment, but sources familiar with the matter confirm that Organic’s London office, one of four in the Omnicom agency’s network, is undergoing some “re-engineering” based on client needs. As a result, we’ve been told that layoffs are imminent as the agency primarily services more UX and tech work nowadays.
Even more interesting to note is that our sources tell us that there is a “possibility” that Organic London could shutter operations by year’s end. This is not the first time we’ve heard a tale like this, because if you remember, right around this time last year, Organic closed shop in Toronto. We’ll keep you posted as things develop.
Sources familiar with the matter confirm that Organic has cut staff in San Francisco and Detroit as a result of the Hilton search/media loss last fall. No numbers have been provided yet, but from what sources say, it’s a “small percentage” though the layoffs affected multiple departments. While we hear the results range anywhere from single to double digits, no approximate numbers have been provided as of yet. We’ll keep you posted on the Omnicom agency’s happenings as soon as we know.
Well, that was fun while it lasted. Immediately after receiving tips about Organic’s “Ugly Sweater” holiday card, the Omnicom agency decided to pull it down because it’s now “awaiting final approval” according to sources familiar with the matter. Yes, that is CCO Conor Brady posing in his holiday Cosby sweater and…oh, just see the rest after the jump if you’re so inclined. Unfortunately, the site as it was was “not supposed to be live” but you can get a gander at a couple of screen grabs to know what you’re in for. We’re assuming a sanitized version will be re-upped shortly. Kudos, though, for, um, the cajones. Update: Looks like it’s back up and running.
Organic’s Brad Mancuso, who led creative on the harrowing Darren Aronofsky-directed “Meth” work, has been promoted to ECD at the agency. Mancuso (pictured) has spent four-and-a-half years at Organic and has also led digital campaigns for Intel, PlayStation and Bank of America among others. Prior to Organic, Mancuso served as VP, senior art director at Leo Burnett, where he actually spent over nine years and was involved with the Cadillac re-launch as well as efforts for Pontiac, GM, Samsung and Nintendo.
While we’re on the Organic promotion front, we thought we’d also mention that Andy McKinney, who’s worked at the digital agency for just over a year as executive director, engagement management, can now add VP to his title. Before Organic, McKinney spent time on the account side at the likes of AKQA, Grey and Hal Riney.
Warning:The above and below spots are of a graphic and disturbing nature. If viewed at work, wear headphones and attempt to keep the shocked gasp volume low.
If there’s one film that could scare fifth graders away from drugs forever, it would be director Darren Aronofky‘s 2000 drama, Requiem for a Dream. Perhaps no other major motion picture in history better captured the horror of heroin and speed addiction, as we watched the film’s characters lose their dignity, limbs and sanity due to a heavy reliance on drugs.
One could argue that Requiem is the ultimate anti-drug PSA. (Some even argue that the director’s most recent hit, Black Swan, could be seen as an anti-ballet PSA, or at least an anti-Natalie Portman PSA.) So, when agency Organic and prodco Wild Plum were looking their next celebrity director to helm the camera for a new series of spots for the Meth Project, Aronofsky’s name was undoubtedly at the top of the list. After all, the Meth Project “aims to reduce first-time meth use with its hard-hitting and graphic portrayals,” and it doesn’t get more graphic than the above attempted suicide spot, does it?
Aronofsky has created four absolutely terrifying spots for the campaign, and perhaps even more shocking than the spots themselves is the fact that they will, apparently, actually air on TV. I mean, how does one get back into their regularly scheduled episode of Gossip Girl after seeing a young boy about to give sexual favors to a stranger in a hotel room to support his crippling addiction (above)?
If the creative brief from The Meth Project read, “Scare children to the point that they will never want to leave the house again,” then bravo to Organic and Wild Plum. In four 30-second spots, they somehow made meth less appealing than that entire horror movie-esque second season episode of Breaking Bad. View the rest of the spots here and the Meth Project’s new website here. Credits after the jump.
Sources familiar with the matter tell us that after a review, Organic lost a piece of its business for Hilton Hotels. Specifically, the chain has gone elsewhere for a search/media provider and from what we hear, it’s still staying within the Omnicom umbrella. Organic, which did compete, is still handling efforts for Hilton including brand work, website, digital and analytics. The Organic/Hilton partnership is mostly run out of the Detroit office and when pressed, the agency referred all inquiries to Hilton. We’ll let you know when we hear back.