Grey S.F. Dangles New ECD Job

Grey’s office here has launched a nationwide search to find an executive creative director, a new position.

The move follows the departure of creative director Alan Randolph, who left for undisclosed reasons. Dave Tutin, evp and creative director on the BellSouth account for Grey in New York, will temporarily oversee San Francisco’s creative efforts from the East Coast.

Agency president Casey Jones said the shop has begun meeting with candidates for the San Francisco job and hopes to make a decision within three months.

“We want to have killer talent, and we have the resources, but it could take time,” Jones said. “It will be a critical job. Grey still believes in the San Francisco market and is ready to invest in it.”

The position will differ from Randolph’s in that it will involve recruiting new talent as well as supervising creative, including interactive. Randolph was responsible for advertising work only.

Jones, who replaced Kieran Hannon as agency president last year, said filling the position is a challenge given that most creative talents like to focus on TV and print chores.

“It has to be someone who has an affinity for every part of the pro cess,” he said. “Their expertise should be in traditional advertising, but we believe the right individual should be involved in all the things that help build a brand.”

The idea for the position emerged from meetings between Jones and Betsy Sperry, general manager of Grey subsidiary Beyond Interactive. They agreed that all agency accounts should be handled the same way as the $100 million Oracle business.

“Oracle perceives Grey as a bunch of different agencies that work together,” Jones said. “And our other clients keep asking for integration.”

Grey S.F. also works with Unisys, Challenge Butter, 24 Hour Fitness and Papa Murphy’s Pizza. The agency was selected last week to handle Papa Murphy’s Seattle co-ops.

Overall billings are estimated at $175 million.