Silverman Gives Up Day-to-Day Control to Focus on New Business
BOSTON–Edward Boches last week was promoted to executive creative director at Mullen, taking over day-to-day responsibilities of the 80-person creative department from chief creative officer Paul Silverman.
Observers speculated that Mullen–now the largest independent ad agency in New England with billings of $254 million–is gussying up for a sale. Silverman said no significance should be drawn from the timing.
The promotion allows Silverman–who will continue to oversee specific accounts such as Dexter Shoes, the Sci-Fi Channel and the Stanley Works–to devote more time to new business, Silverman said.
“Let’s face it. I’m 58 going on 59, and in advertising, that’s like 159,” Silverman said. “We want this business to last, and this is the next logical step.”
Clients welcomed the management change. Boches “always supports [the people working for him] and he has a nice way of bridging that gap between the creative and the account people; he’s a very good translator,” said Steve Fuller, ad director at L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine, a new client to the 29-year-old shop.
“It was pretty obvious he was the crown prince,” said former Mullen staffer Vashti Brotherhood, currently a vice president at Hill, Holliday Interactive in Boston. “He’s invested a lot of his life in the company and I think this is a natural choice.”
Boches, 44, joined the Wenham, Mass., agency 15 years ago from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston. For the past two years he has functioned as creative director, overseeing such accounts as BankBoston, Nextel and Agfa. One of his most notable career efforts was a print campaign for Smartfood popcorn, which won top honors at the 1990 Hatch Awards.
“For a big part, I’ve been in Paul’s shadow while trying to create my own space,” Boches reflected. “This is a chance to put my management skills to the test,” he said, adding with a laugh, “Or find out if I have them.”