Fallon N.Y. Taps CD

Ellen Steinberg, a freelance art director who used to work on Miller Lite and Lee Jeans at Fallon in Minneapolis, has rejoined the agency, as the No. 2 creative in its New York office.

Steinberg, who takes the title of creative director, will act as a partner to executive creative director Kevin Roddy. Together, they will create work, recruit staffers and oversee agency creative efforts.

“My intention is to write more and for that, I need a partner,” said Roddy. In addition, he wants Steinberg to become the “art director leader of the agency.”

Prior to taking the job, Steinberg freelanced at the shop. She was part of the team that pitched and won a $20-30 million creative assignment from L’Oréal this month and helped create the first TV spots in the “Step up” campaign for Conseco, including “Fountain,” which won a silver Lion in 1999.

The L’Oréal win accelerated Roddy’s plans to restock the creative department after a year of cutbacks. By fall, Roddy hopes to have two more new teams in place, including one to focus exclusively on L’Oréal.

Steinberg, 33, spent five years at the Minneapolis office, leaving in 1998 to pursue freelance work. She has also freelanced at Wieden + Kennedy and J. Walter Thompson.

Roddy was impressed by the look and range of Steinberg’s work, including the Conseco campaign and a series of 1997 spots for Miller Lite (“Teeth,” “Young at Heart,” et al.). Steinberg, in turn, said she looks forward to playing a role at an agency that feels like a “really nice startup.”