NSL Reworks Creative Department

Queen City Ad Agency Seeks a Larger Role on the National Stage
CHICAGO–Northlich Stolley LaWarre is shaking up its creative department in an effort to be more competitive on a national level.
Don Perkins, who has led the Cincinnati agency’s creative department since 1988, has been given the new title of executive creative director. He now oversees seven creative directors who lead four agency groups.
Before the restructuring, Perkins was the only senior creative in the shop’s entire 40-person department.
The agency’s evolution over the past decade demanded an organizational change that would give senior creative management executives more direct contact with clients, Perkins said.
“In essence [the clients] are getting that top-level creative perspective on a more daily basis” under the revamped structure, he said.
Perkins will assume more responsibilities relating to new business and the strategic direction of the agency, which is seeking greater national stature. As an example of that, NSL in May broke nationwide broadcast campaigns for Starkist tuna and Morningstar Farms.
“I can take a more broad view of creative direction and strategic direction on the businesses and not be bogged down in the implementation of day-to-day things,” Perkins said of his new role.
Joining NSL as one of the newly appointed creative directors is Eric Weltner, a three-time One Show finalist who most recently worked at Campbell-Ewald Advertising in Warren, Mich. Weltner said he has had his eye on NSL for years.
“It seems like a really cool agency that is on the cusp of getting more of a national reputation,” he said.
Bringing more creative accolades to the shop is one of Weltner’s goals.
“We want to get our agency known as having a creative calling card,” he said.
The other six creative directors are NSL veterans. Weltner will be leading a general advertising group along with newly promoted Joe Stryker. Bob Guard and Chris Baker will lead the other general advertising creative team.
Richard Westendorf will head the design group, and Barry Thornell and John Walsh are in charge of the direct marketing creative group.