Ferguson Ends McD’s Reign

DDB Needham Dallas vice chairman and chief creative officer Jim Ferguson has stepped down from his day-to-day duties on the McDonald’s account, a post he said he was handling on an interim basis.
Ferguson’s duties are being assumed by John Staffen, a group creative director at DDB in New York who will retain that title as he relocates to Chicago. Staffen reports to Bob Scarpelli, vice chairman and chief creative officer of DDB in Chicago.
Staffen had been group creative director on the New York Lottery account, which moved to Grey Advertising, New York, this month. He also has handled campaigns for Michelin, Volkswagen, Mobil and Frito-Lay.
Ferguson had been executive creative director on McDonald’s, commuting weekly from Dallas to Chicago to work with 14 creative teams. Scarpelli said Ferguson was offered the post but did not want to relocate.
“[My position] was supposed to be an interim role, and it turned into a year while they did a search,” Ferguson said. “McDonald’s is the biggest account these guys have in the U.S. They need someone [in Chicago] full-time.”
Ken Kaess, president of DDB’s North American operations, suggested Staffen for the post about a month ago, Scarpelli said. The client was not involved in the selection of a new creative leader, Scarpelli added. Ferguson did participate in the decision.
Ferguson was one of six members of a DDB pitch team that helped the agency regain lead status on McDonald’s last year. Before joining DDB in 1995, Ferguson was a senior vice president and creative director on McDonald’s at Leo Burnett.
Since its initial pool of branding commercials that introduced the “Did somebody say McDonald’s?” tagline last year, DDB’s work on the account has been mostly promotional. No new branding work is expected before next year.
–with Trevor Jense