CHICAGO – The creative revolution at DDB Needham Chicago took yet another turn last week when co-executive creative director David Jenkins announced he was departing the agency, leaving the other co-executive cd, Bob Scarpelli, as its sole creative chief.
Agency president Susan Gillette said nothing specific had prompted the shift, but that it had ‘sort of evolved to this point. I believe the co-creative director concept worked for us for the past two years, but at some point you have to look at how to make thins more effective and that’s where we’ve been for the past three or four months,’ Gillette said. ‘David wants to create ads and Bob enjoys the management side of things much more so this makes sense for everyone.’
Jenkins, who joined DDB Needham in July, 1991, was one of several prominent, senior-level creative executives hired to upgrade the creative product of the agency. Sources have said that Needham’s creative department is still struggling internally to get work approved due in part to the bureaucracy of a large agency.
Scarpelli admitted it’s been a struggle. ‘It’s taken time and it’s been an adjustment. We shifted a lot of things to get the right people in the right places and it’s finally settling in.’
Scarpelli said he’s seen an improvement in the work the agency’s done particularly on the McDonald’s dinner advertising campaign and the work on Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Dry and Bud Light.
Gillette said the investment in and attention to the creative department has started paying dividends. ‘Needham has always been the classic case of account vs. creative and that’s starting to change with the new teams. And there’s a stunning difference in our print work. But it’s not an overnight process.’
Jenkins said he plans to move back to Oregon at the end of the summer to build his dream house and spend time deciding what to do next.
‘I feel good about having come here and I feel good about leaving,’ he said. ‘I think I was a catalyst for some of the good work and I feel good about that.’
Jenkins said that he plans to relax for a few months and then ease into project work before possibly starting a business. He said he wants to use his talents as an art director and designer in a variety of ways including advertising, packaging design and environmental design, to name a few.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)