Creative Team Bolts Holt, Hughes: Maine Shop Appoints New CD, Opens a West Coast Outpost

Holt, Hughes & Stamell in Portland, Maine, named a new creative director and announced the opening of a West Coast office to service recent client additions, including Calavo Foods of Irvine, Calif.
Copywriter Chris Kast, a four-year agency employee who replaced departed partner John Holt as creative director just four months ago, has left Holt, Hughes with art director Mark Nestor to form Crank, a “humor-oriented” creative boutique in Portland. Bob Perkins succeeds Kast as creative director.
“The tone of the agency changed since [Holt] left,” Kast said. “The vision changed. It’s really strategic- consulting oriented. I want to be involved in a creative-oriented shop.”
Crank is dedicating to producing ads with a sense of fun and whimsy. Kast and Nestor did not sign noncompete or nonsolicitation agreements with Holt, Hughes. Key accounts the pair worked on at the 30-person agency included Chinet and Sebago.
Holt, Hughes vice president George Hughes said he is not concerned that accounts will follow the pair. “We’re okay [with their departure],” he said. “We wish them well.”
One account the agency has lost in recent weeks, however, is the Norwegian Seafood Export Council, which moved its business to The Food Group, a New York-based shop specializing in food and beverage marketing.
Holt, Hughes recently hired former Food Group executive Steve Schiedermayer to head up an affiliate, HHS/Schiedermayer in Westlake Village, Calif. Schiedermayer will service avocado marketer Calavo Foods and Boyd’s Coffee of Portland, Ore.