Y&R Taps Riney’s Doyle as ECD

John Doyle, a creative director whose lauded work has included campaigns for clients such as General Motors and Timberland, is moving to Young & Rubicam to launch the American Luxury line for Lincoln Mercury.

Doyle, 47, former executive creative director at Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, takes the same position at Y&R’s Irvine, Calif., offices beginning next Monday. He replaces agency stalwart Mike Belitsos, whom agency officials said is returning to school to become a literature instructor. Belitsos will remain on board during the transition.

“I’ve worked on the Saturn business, the EV1. I consider [the American Luxury] brand a creative opportunity,” Doyle said.

Doyle will commute to Irvine while his family remains in Marin County. He was brought on board by agency president and Ogilvy & Mather alumnus David Murphy to head up the 2001 launch of the American Luxury brand of products, including the recently unveiled Blackwood luxury pickup truck.

“When you spend time with John, you are struck by his intellect and how he approaches commu nication problems,” Murphy said. “He takes the time to get to the essential truth of the brand. … He is without doubt one of the more talented people in the business.”

The 300-person agency is eager to put Doyle’s strong design skills to work, Murphy said. Doyle doesn’t get bogged down with pro duction elements, Murphy added, and knows how to get clear, interesting ideas across.

Doyle, whose work for GM’s EV-1 electric car earned an Emmy nomination and a Kelly award, will lead the agency’s 22-member creative department. He plans to hire additional staffers to handle the American Luxury line.

Y&R’s Irvine office was established about two years ago, primarily to handle Lincoln Mercury, which had moved from Detroit to California.