Evans, Carducci to Leave Cliff Freeman

NEW YORK The exodus continues from independent shop Cliff Freeman and Partners.

Karen Evans, executive vice president and director of account planning at the New York agency since 1996, is leaving to join WestWayne, effective Jan. 4, officials at that Atlanta shop confirmed. Evans will be chief strategy officer and partner at the independent agency, reporting to CEO, president Jeff Johnson. She replaces Andrew Jones, who will remain with WestWayne as senior planner and partner.

Evans, 44, joined Cliff Freeman from Citron Haligman Bedecarre in San Francisco, and her exit leaves Cliff Freeman without a senior planner. She could not immediately be reached for comment.

Additionally, art director Rob Carducci, who has worked on Mohegan Sun and Fox Sports at Cliff Freeman, is joining Publicis Groupe’s Publicis in New York, effective in early December, sources said.

Carducci, 34, will be joining executive creative directors Duncan Marshall and Howard Wilmott, who arrived at Publicis from Saatchi & Saatchi in London in June. Carducci will work on Amstel Light and Allied Domecq, sources said. Publicis executives could not be reached for comment. Carducci joined Cliff Freeman five years ago from New York independent DeVito Verdi.

Cliff Freeman and Partners has struggled all year with mounting account losses and staff defections. In June, three of its mid-level staffers left to form New York agency Amalgamated. Shortly thereafter, award-winning creative director Eric Silver joined Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, followed by highly touted creative director Ari Merkin to Saatchi sibling Fallon in New York. Over the last few months, accounts such as Quiznos, Budget Rent A Car, Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Ben & Jerry’s have left the shop.

Last week, the agency elevated Dan Morales from associate creative director to vice president and creative director. Others who have joined Cliff Freeman’s creative department in recent weeks are John Garguilo from Merkley Newman Harty & Partners in New York and three recent graduates of the Miami Ad School—Nathan Frank, Hunter Fine and Matthew Woodhams.

Shop CEO and chief creative officer Cliff Freeman could not immediately be reached for comment, nor could Carducci.

The agency’s current clients are Hollywood Video, Fox Sports, DSW, Value City and Mohegan Sun.