Martin Agency Tweaks Creative

Creatives at The Martin Agency are seeing double—and in the eyes of management, that’s a good thing. The Interpublic Group shop has dropped its group cd structure in favor of two creative directors working in pairs to run small teams of five to seven people. It has also brought in eight new staffers from across the country to join the scrum.

Each client at the $380 million Richmond, Va., agency, which handles Vanilla Coke, Geico and UPS, will now have several teams working on its business. For the past month, president and chief creative Mike Hughes has been informing his roster of the changes, which he insisted is not a recipe for chaos but rather a mechanism to keep creatives from “getting stale” and layers of management from forming as the agency grows.

“For better or worse, I think we are making this system up,” said Hughes. “It seems to us to make a lot of sense.”

The new hires are Andy Azula, a group cd at McCann Erickson in San Francisco; Mike Lear, a copywriter at Crispin Porter Bogusky in Miami; David Muhlenfeld, formerly with Digitas in San Francisco; Peter Wood, a partner and head of art at Euro RSCG MVBMS; Chris Jacobs, partner and ecd at Cole Henderson Drake in Atlanta; Kevin Thoem, senior art director at BBDO Atlanta; Dave Padgett, art director at Cole Henderson Drake; and Chantal Ponozo, a graduate of the Rick Boyko-run VCU Adcenter.

“It sounds like a lot of cds for that size agency,” said Steve Rabosky, chief creative at Saatchi & Saatchi in Torrance, Calif., the flagship Toyota office that is roughly two-thirds larger than Martin. (Saatchi has four cds for national advertising and specialized cds for retail, interactive, etc.) But, he added, “if you have enough good people, it could work.”