JWT Hires New CDs

Director Richard Sabean and writer Jeff Watzman have joined J. Walter Thompson as group creative directors working on the agency’s $100 million Domino’s Pizza account. Both have been freelancing at the New York shop since last year.

Sabean, an art director who has directed commercials since 1993, is teaming with Watzman, who won Cannes Lions for writing Little Caesar’s “Italian Feast,” a gold winner in 1994, and co-writing HBO’s “Roach Motel,” a silver winner in 1998. Sabean art directed a TV spot for Diet Pepsi, “Missing Link,” that won a silver Lion in 1989.

“They bring big, fresh, entertaining ideas,” said Mike Campbell, the agency’s executive creative director. “And they’re a great complement to the rest [of the group cds].”

JWT now has a dozen group heads; each reports to Campbell.

Sabean, 46, and Watzman, 35, will create national radio ads for Domino’s, while group cds Mickey Paxton and Jon Krevolin oversee all work on the brand, said Campbell. The new team will also work on J&B Scotch, Nabisco and new-business efforts.

JWT, which prev i ously handled field-marketing and media duties on Dom ino’s, picked up national creative duties in January, following a five-month stealth effort to win the business from Deutsch. (Sabean and Watzman contributed creative ideas to the effort.)

Before directing, Sabean held senior posts at several shops here, including BBDO and McCann-Erickson. Watzman also worked at BBDO, as well as Cliff Freeman and Partners; he started freelancing in 2000.

Campbell has added five group heads since taking over JWT’s creative department in early 2001. The Sabean and Watzman posts are new.