Partners Loses Billig, Schwab

Creative Director, Easdon Open New Shop With Funds Account
SAN FRANCISCO–Charles Schwab & Co. is winding down its relationship with Partners & Simons following the departure of Don Easdon, a creative director who had freelanced to the Boston agency.
Jeff Billig, who has served as creative director at Partners & Simons for the past five years, has also left the agency. He and Easdon have opened a shop in San Francisco called Red.
The startup will initially be focused exclusively on handling Schwab business, which includes at least $10-15 million in co-op print advertising and corporate assignments as well as responsibilities for the San Francisco-based company’s OneSource mutual funds.
Partners & Simons, which once handled about $30 million in duties for Schwab, is finishing some trade work for the client, but those will be the shop’s last ads for the company, according to Schwab executive vice president Len Short.
“We were involved with Partners & Simons on an exploratory basis with the idea that Don Easdon, who has done great work in the financial services category, would be handling our advertising,” said Short.
Agency executives could not be reached for comment last week.
After Easdon broke off his relationship with Partners & Simons this summer, he approached Schwab executives about taking on some of their business, said Short. Red pitched against lead shop BBDO for the co-op program and OneSource assignments, he added.
Easdon, an art director, and Billig, a copywriter, are looking to hire staff and have moved out of Schwab’s offices–where they were temporarily housed–and into new space in nearby Mill Valley.
BBDO still handles most of the Schwab account and just broke a $50 million television and print campaign with the tagline, “Creating a world of smarter investors.” The humorous work features sports personalities who are also Schwab investors.
Easdon has been freelancing for the past three years since breaking away from his former Boston agency, now operated solely by Bill Heater.