Goodby Pair Head Crosstown For Leagas

By Joan Voight

SAN FRANCISCO–Two key creative executives are leaving Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to join Leagas Delaney’s San Francisco office.

Associate creative director Harry Cocciolo, hired as the first creative director of Leagas Delaney in San Francisco, starts this week. Cocciolo, 33, will head the year-old Leagas office, reporting directly to agency headquarters in London, according to Tim Delaney, a principal of the shop.

Cocciolo’s partner, associate creative director Sean Ehringer, 36, will join the Leagas office as chief of the art department, said Delaney.

Since 1992, Cocciolo has worked at Goodby, Silverstein and contributed to the award-winning ‘Got Milk?’ campaign as well as to executions for clients such as Budweiser, Polaroid and Sega.

After a lengthy search, Leagas selected Cocciolo ‘for the breadth and quality of his work,’ Delaney said. ‘He is eager to develop his work and push boundaries, not replicate what’s already been done.’ Like Delaney, Cocciolo will function as a working copywriter as he runs the agency. ‘He’ll lead by example,’ Delaney said.

‘For Sean and me, this is a rare opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an agency,’ Cocciolo said. ‘It’s difficult to leave Jeff (Goodby) and Rich (Silverstein), but we want to have the adventure that they had.’

Cocciolo has been promised autonomy over the creative work generated in San Francisco, he said. ‘It’s my job to talk to the San Francisco staff and help them out,’ Delaney said. ‘It’s not up to me to judge (their work) or tell them how to build the agency.’

Cocciolo’s and Ehringer’s first responsibility will be to handle the $10-15 million Adidas U.S. account.

The two join a team of senior Leagas executives in San Francisco who are alumni of Goodby, Silverstein. This migration has led to some friction between the shops, said insiders.

Ironically, both agencies are wholly or partly owned by Omnicom. The holding company is part owner of Leagas parent Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO in London.

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