Figliulo Named CCO, Will Lead Charge to Improve Agency’s Work
CHICAGO–The addition of Mark Figliulo as chief creative officer at Young & Rubicam completes a significant makeover of the shop’s executive ranks since the arrival in late summer of Howard Breen.
The Chicago agency was led creatively for 12 years by Mike Faems and Tom Shortlidge. Shortlidge retired last month; Faems will leave the agency after a transition period following Filgulo’s Nov. 15 arrival.
Figliulo, a commercial director for Dark Light Pictures, West Hollywood, Calif., and a creative consultant for Leo Burnett, Chicago, is charged with improving Y&R’s creative work.
“I want Mark’s focus to be solely on driving our creative product through the roof,” agency president Howard Breen said.
Figliulo, 36, was suggested to Breen by Y&R worldwide creative chief Ted Bell, who was a top creative at Burnett when he hired Figliulo as an art director in 1986.
“They want change, and they want it quickly,” Figliulo said. “[Breen] knows the agency is going to have to be creatively based to succeed.”
Figliulo worked his way up to executive vice president at Burnett, and was responsible for one of the agency’s now-disbanded “mini-agencies” before leaving in 1998.
Figliulo says his chief assignments are to bring in new business and improve the creative product. Y&R’s Chicago clients include Sears, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Jim Beam.
Figliulo was originally considered as a partner for Faems, but the 19-year agency veteran decided instead to leave.
“I have no idea what I’m going to do next. That’s the joy of it,” Faems said. “There’s this window of opportunity, so I’m going to throw myself through it.”
Breen has made his mark since arriving in August from Y&R Canada to take over from Pat Cafferata, who resigned.
The loss of the agency’s Kraft business led to 10 layoffs shortly after Breen moved in, and Kary McIlwain and Jim Lecinski were subsequently promoted to managing director and director of client services and new business development, respectively.
Shortlidge announced his retirement last month, at which time the agency indicated it would stick with its co-creative director setup.