BBDO New York executive creative director Eric Silver has resigned and is in advanced negotiations to take the top creative post at DDB in New York, sources said. Lee Garfinkel, the office's chairman and chief creative officer since 2003, could not be reached. Silver and DDB did not return calls and BBDO declined to comment.
Silver has worked at Omnicom Group's BBDO since December 2003. He was among four ecds at the shop and, through the years, his group has worked on FedEx, Monster.com, the BBC and earlier, DirecTV.
Among the noteworthy ads that the group created was a 2007 spot for FedEx called "Stick" that broke on the Super Bowl and won an Emmy -- along with Leo Burnett's "Required Reading" spot for Hallmark -- for outstanding commercial.
The spot, set in prehistoric times, depicted a caveman firing another caveman for failing to use FedEx, even though the business had yet to be invented. It ends with the dismissed caveman kicking a small reptile before getting squashed by a giant dinosaur.
More recently, Silver's group launched a new campaign for Monster that included a spot on this year's Super Bowl ("Double Take") that used a moose's head and tail mounted on opposite sides of a wall to illustrate the difference between the haves and have-nots at work.
Silver first made a name for himself at Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York, where he helped create bizarre and slapstick spots for the likes of Fox Sports, Budget Rent a Car, Mike's Hard Lemonade and Outpost.com. He left Cliff Freeman in June 2003 for a group cd job at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York but stayed at the Publicis Groupe shop for just six months. BBDO hired him to fill a vacancy left by the exit of Gerry Graf, who had become ecd of the New York office of TBWA\Chiat\Day.
Garfinkel took the DDB job after Publicis Groupe shuttered his previous agency, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. At the time, Publicis Groupe had offered Garfinkel the worldwide cd job at Publicis but Garfinkel declined the offer. Garfinkel was a key player in DDB's successful pitch for U.S creative duties on Subaru of America in 2004. But the then estimated $200 million account left in 2007 and since then the office has been relatively quiet on the new business front, save for last year's Unilever ice cream win. New York has also had a surprisingly low creative profile.