Ground Zero Names ECD

LOS ANGELES Independent Ground Zero has added creative vet Curt Detweiler as partner and ecd. He started at the shop last week.

Agency creative partner and co-founder Court Crandall said Detweiler represents “the most important creative hire in the 14 years of our shop.”

Detweiler is best known for his long association with Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day. He served as a cd on the Nissan business at the shop’s Playa del Rey, Calif., office before moving to TBWA\C\D in New York to work on Mars. (He’s also served at agency outposts in Paris, Tokyo and Singapore, where he worked on Nissan, Sony, Mars, Chivas, Haagen Dazs and Gatorade, among others.)

Crandall said he has not had a creative partner at Detweiler’s level since the departure of creative partner Kirk Souder in 2001.

“Curt is among the select few that has the whole package to drive the business in a significant way,” Crandall said. “Great companies hire people better than themselves.”

Though Crandall has flirted with Hollywood (writing A Lobster Tail and Old School) he said the hiring of Detweiler does not signal his impending departure.

“I see Curt as the future of the advertising creative here,” Crandall said, “But as it stands, I’ll focus on new accounts and he’ll focus on existing accounts, and I may start to spearhead a television division.”

Jim Smith, chairman of the Marina del Rey, Calif.-based shop, added that the agency is “growing and rapidly expanding our digital offering.” In Detweiler, it has found “the right mix of entrepreneurial instinct and creative pedigree,” he said.

Crandall said that Detweiler’s background has him “steeped in interactive. He thinks big like the good Chiat people always have, and he has a field set of skills as well.”

Ground Zero clients include ESPN, Sizzler, Oberto, Ditech and the California Department of Health.