Sources familiar with the matter are telling us that copywriter Grant Smith (pictured) and art director Rick Ardito are returning to BBDO New York, where they both spent over four years before splitting to launch their shop, Handsome Advertising. From what we hear, Smith and Ardito, whose working relationship dates back 12 years to their Cliff Freeman & Partners days, will be joining BBDO’s AT&T creative team, which is currently led by ECD Greg Hahn. We’re still trying to get a concrete start date for the pair as well as their titles. We wager that it’s something in the CD realm. Sources add that Smith and Ardito are replacing Ralph Watson, who left BBDO for Goodby Detroit in September.
Update: Here’s a note that BBDO North America chairman/CCO David Lubars sent to staff today:
“Most of you will remember Grant Smith and Rick Ardito. They’re a fantastic creative team who created successful and well-awarded work with us on FedEx and Monster among others. I’m happy to report they’re returning the agency as SCDs to help Greg Hahn lead the AT&T business.
I hated when those guys left and I love that they’re back – I know you will, too. They start Wednesday, please drop by to welcome them home.”