Westbrook Rethinking Role

Bill Westbrook, the president and creative director at Fallon McElligott, said last week he plans to pull back from daily creative duties at some point in the next year, but has no plans to leave the agency.
Rumors that Westbrook is preparing to step down at the Minneapolis shop have been rife for months, fueled by reports of talks between the agency and top creatives in New York and elsewhere.
Westbrook declined to name anyone he has spoken with, but said he’s always interviewing talent, both junior and senior.
In separate interviews, Westbrook and Mark Goldstein, president of integrated marketing at Fallon, said the agency is scouting for a top executive, including people inside the agency, to help shoulder the creative load at some point in the next year.
“I’m always trying to recruit people, just like any good agency,” Westbrook commented. “I’d love to have the help.”
Westbrook said he will remain at the agency, but not as “a line creative director the way I’ve been.” It is possible he will concentrate more on international business, and Westbrook said he will keep a hand in new business development. “I love this company, I can’t [conceive of] working anyplace else,” he said.
Westbrook and Goldstein said there has been no decision about whether someone else would fill in as creative director, or how Westbrook’s title would change.
“I’m lucky to work at a place where titles aren’t important,” Westbrook said.
Westbrook joined Fallon in July 1993. Previously, he was vice chairman at The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va. Before that, he had been chief creative officer at Earle Palmer Brown, in Bethesda, Md.
Fallon, with 1996 billings of $355 million, has added the Miller Lite and United Airlines accounts in the past year.