FCB SF Looks Inward For Creative Leaders

Despite seeing business and office size shrink since the dot-com bubble burst, Foote Cone & Belding San Francisco’s two co-executive creative directors — Brian Bacino and Matt Reinhard — don’t think the agency’s best days are behind it.

“I feel that with the kind of combination of Brian and myself … there is a newfound energy and excitement—a new vibe and a new feeling,” Reinhard said.

The two agency veterans—Bacino, 40, has been with the agency 16 years, while Reinhard, 37, has been there 12—replace Michael Prieve in leading the 20-person creative department. Prieve, who had been ecd of the shop for two years, left last December to join Young & Rubicam in Irvine, Calif.

Office president Dominic Whittles said he did an extensive search before he made his decision. But the shop was better served by looking inside, Whittles said. “We interviewed a number of cds, but we came to the conclusion we had all the talent we needed in-house.”

FCB has had a long history in San Francisco, helping establish the city’s creative reputation with its groundbreaking work for Levi’s decades ago. But the shop fell on hard times after the dot-com crash in 2000, when the agency recorded billings of $935 million. The agency’s accounts — which include Taco Bell, Levi’s Dockers and Kikkoman — now show estimated annual billings of $260 million.

In addition to improving the shop’s new business outlook, the duo plans to beef up the shop’s interactive department, in particular its online and new media capabilities, Reinhard said.