Updated: Christmann Severs Ties to CFP

NEW YORK Former Cliff Freeman & Partners executive creative director Tom Christmann is among a half-dozen new creative director hires at WPP Group’s JWT here.

Each cd will report to an ecd who in turn reports to JWT New York chief creative officer Harvey Marco. The hires are designed to add bench strength within each ecd-led group, according to an agency representative.

Beyond Christmann, the newcomers are Louis-Philippe Tremblay, most recently a digital art director at Wieden + Kennedy in London; Jim Wood, a cd at Taxi in New York; Josh Kilmer-Purcell, a freelancer and former cd at SS+K in New York; Laura Fegley, a freelancer and ex-cd at Cliff Freeman; and Bill Courtney, freelancer and ex-associate cd at Publicis Groupe’s Saachi & Saatchi in Torrance, Calif.

Courtney and Fegley will work on Royal Caribbean and Nestle, respectively. Wood will work on Macy’s, Kilmer-Purcell on HSBC and Kimberly-Clark and Christmann and Tremblay on Microsoft.

JWT landed its first Microsoft assignment a year ago — for the company’s business solutions group — and expanded the relationship this year with the addition of creative duties on a new search product. The shop also is said to be competing for a new mobile product assignment, along with fellow Microsoft roster shops MDC Partners’ Crispin, Porter + Bogusky and Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson.

Christmann had worked at Cliff Freeman since 2007 and shifted to freelance last month in the wake of several client losses at Cliff Freeman and the exit of CEO Clayton Reubensall III.

Before Cliff Freeman, he was a cd at independent shop Taxi in New York, where he worked on brands such as Amp’d Mobile and Molson. Earlier in his career, he worked on FedEx, eBay, Guinness and Red Stripe as a cd at Omnicom Group’s BBDO here.

This story updates an earlier item with news of the other hires and additional details.