Tausche Is New Prexy, Creative Chief at CHD

Cole Henderson Drake’s summer-long search for a creative director ended in surprising fashion last week when the $25 million local agency signed Kurt Tausche, executive vice president and director of creative services at crosstown shop Tausche Martin Lonsdorf, as its new president and chief creative officer.
Tausche, 45, replaces CHD’s former president and creative director, Denzil Strickland, who is now chief creative officer at FGI in Chapel Hill, N.C.
At CHD, Tausche will be an equal partner with agency founder and chairman John Drake. Drake’s agency has been in business 28 years, and its client list includes Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Georgia-Pacific.
Tausche’s departure comes at an interesting time for the agency that has had his name on the door since 1991. Earlier this year the shop won Daewoo Motor America’s estimated $10 million Southeast account, and it is in the hunt for that client’s national assignment. The agency is also in the running for the regional account of Starbucks Coffee. Overall, it seems to be a curious time to leave. “When this started, we were just on the heels of the Daewoo win and the first thing on my mind wasn’t leaving,” Tausche said. “I’d always been aware of Cole Henderson Drake’s work, and the more I talked to John, the better it looked. In the end I knew there would be other accounts, but there might not be another opportunity like this one.”
While Drake did not know Tausche personally, he became aware of him several years ago when the two competed during Tausche’s tenure with Earle Palmer Brown in Atlanta. “In 1989 we were competing with EPB for Georgia-Pacific,” Drake said. “I thought we had done some very good work, but they got the account. When I later saw Kurt’s work, I was very impressed with it.”
Tausche came to Atlanta from his post as senior vice president and creative director at Bozell, Minneapolis, in 1988 to run the creative department at Burton-Campbell. That agency eventually became EPB’s Atlanta office. Tausche exited that post in 1991 when he joined forces with Joe Lonsdorf and Margaret Ann Martin to form TML.