LAAA Follows the New Leaders

The Los Angeles Advertising Agencies Association named its leaders of 2001 last week.

Leader of the Year, its top honor, went to Scott Gilbert, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi in L.A, which claims billings of more than $500 million.

“For anyone to be a recognized leader, you have to have a good team to lead,” said Gilbert, who oversees business for clients such as Toyota Motor Sales, USA and Procter & Gamble. “I am very fortunate to have such an outstanding team at Saatchi.”

In winning the award, Gilbert follows West Coast executives Michael Sheldon, executive vp and general manager of Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif.; David Park, president and CEO of DDB in L.A.; and Donny Deutsch of New York-based Deutsch.

Creative Leader of the Year went to Eric Hirshberg, executive creative director and managing partner of Deutsch, Adweek’s Western Agency of the Year in 2000.

“This completes the circle for Deutsch, because it acknowledges the quality of the work our creative team has been producing,” said Hirshberg, who has helped craft campaigns for Mitsubishi Motors, DirecTV and California Cheese.

The Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year title will be shared by David Angelo and Skip Sullivan, founders and creative partners of davidandgoliath. Since it opened in 1999, the shop has grown to 100 employees with more than $225 million in billings. Clients include Kia Motors America, Universal Orlando and Mattel.

“It’s just a huge honor to be considered for this by the advertising community here,” Angelo said. “Times are tough, agencies are laying people off, clients are cutting budgets. Winning this award speaks volumes about our company.”

All the winners will be feted during the LAAA’s annual awards ceremony on Feb. 21 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.