Executive Producer Officially Named No. 2 Creative
SAN FRANCISCO–Foote, Cone & Belding has promoted senior vice president and executive producer Steve Neely to deputy executive creative director. He officially takes the place of former executive creative director Paul Wolfe, who left the shop in early 1998.
After Wolfe’s departure, Geoff Thompson, who was then serving as worldwide creative director and helping the agency pitch the Levi’s jeans business, recommended that Neely step in. The executive producer said he believed it would be a “temporary situation.”
“Well, I’ve been filling the role now for more than a year,” said Neely. “Now it’s official. But I’m still going to be the head of production here. I’m not giving that up.”
Neely has worked in the broadcast department of FCB, San Francisco, since 1977. He took charge of the department in the early 1980s, and produced famous campaigns such as “501 Blues” and “Wide Leg Jeans” for Levi Strauss & Co.
“It’s rare for someone in the broadcast production field to take on duties in other areas of the agency,” said FCB managing director Simon Bolton. “Producing is a full-time career. But when you’ve got someone with Steve’s talents and creative sensibilities that extend beyond … broadcast production, the smartest thing you can do is ask him to take on these responsibilities officially.”
“I think folding my duties together is a great thing,” said Neely. “This is how a creative director can really know what’s going on with the work, by being deeply involved with the whole process.”
Neely will report directly to Thompson, who recently became the shop’s chairman, chief executive officer and chief creative officer.