Rapp Collins Adds Macdonald

Rapp Collins Worldwide has hired traditional agency veteran Martin Macdonald to strengthen the creative output of the direct-response shop.

Macdonald joins the Dallas firm as executive vice president and chief creative officer following a year of freelancing for various agencies and clients. Before that, Macdonald worked on General Motors’ Cadillac account at D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in Detroit, where he was senior vice president and creative director from 2000 to 2001.

He also worked at WestWayne in Tampa, Fla., Atlanta and Miami, where he was vice chairman and executive creative director from 1994 to 1998.

Macdonald spent the time be-tween those two shops helping to establish Bronnercom in London as an integrated agency that could produce television and print advertising. The copywriter said he leftthe shop—now Digitas—when its “above-the-line ambitions faded.”

Now the Scottish native brings his talents to a shop where creative ideas can find life on various media, from a 30-second TV commercial to a matchbox.

The Dallas office of Omnicom Group’s Rapp Collins has been aggressively expanding its capabilities over the past three years under the leadership of president Mark Miller.

“Clients say, ‘You have great insight into customer behavior and how to motivate it, so we’d like you to take on more aspects of our business,’ ” said Miller. “If anything, the recession has exacerbated [this] as companies say they need their campaigns to have measurable results.”

Since May 2000, Rapp Collins has added departments forresearch, interactive, and both strategic and media planning. Macdonald is charged with building on the efforts of his predecessor, Helene Cote, to improve the work of the shop’s 80-person creative team.

Miller said he chose Macdonald for his skill, energy and versatility. “We were looking for somebody who had a great creative product and … was open to the mind-set that everything isn’t in one medium,” Miller said.

While Miller said he hopes a stronger creative department will help his New York-based agency compete more directly for mass-market assignments, he is not altering the shop’s positioning.

“What we’re trying to do is own the future of marketing, and we think we can get there faster than advertising agencies,” Miller said about Rapp Collins’ creative expectations.