BBDO Houston Recruits Top CD

Hires Former Ayer Worldwide Creative Chief Pat Cunningham
DALLAS–BBDO Houston has scored a major coup with the recruitment of industry talent Pat Cunningham, former vice chairman and chief creative officer worldwide at N.W. Ayer & Partners, as its executive creative director.
Cunningham, 56, is the well-known architect of campaigns such as AT&T’s “Reach out and touch someone,” DeBeer’s “A diamond is forever,” and the U.S. Army’s “Be all that you
can be.”
Cunningham has received virtually every creative advertising award, including the coveted gold Lion at Cannes.
Cunningham’s appointment to the newly created position is the latest in a series of hires designed to overhaul the agency’s profile. Within the last year, BBDO Houston has installed Ann Iverson as executive vice president and managing director, and assigned Sharon Hatzel and Paul Hun to the new positions of vice president and research director and vice president and media director, respectively.
“This is all part of a transitioning of this office from a below-the-line agency to a high- quality general advertising agency,” said Rich Kronengold, executive vice president and managing director of BBDO in New York.
“Pat has been brought in to upgrade the work,” Kronengold continued. “We think this will translate to greater opportunities and a raising of the bar . . . The community will be well aware of the work coming out of that office.”
Said Iverson: “Pat more than meets all the criteria I was looking for. He’s a great creative, but he has marketing sense; he’s the kind of person who can sit in front of a CEO and have a conversation.”
As for the impact on the agency, she said, “I think now we are fully staffed . . . As far as our vision now, it’s growth.”
Cunningham, who led creative efforts at N.W. Ayer from 1972-96, is also credited for his work on Folger’s Coffee (“The best part of waking up”) and Right Guard deodorant (“Anything less would be uncivilized”). His first job was as a copywriter for the U.S. Army.
“BBDO has always represented the best of the big agencies, with the best creative,” Cunningham said. “I felt very comfortable with Ann; she shared her vision with me and I was sold on it. My main job right now is to build the creative work on the accounts we have, and then start seeing what is available outside.”