After just 15 months, Wieden + Kennedy's Colleen DeCourcy has earned her "horns."
DeCourcy, the global co-executive creative director at the agency, is now also a partner, joining a select group of 11 that includes co-founder Dan Wieden, president Dave Luhr and Susan Hoffman, ecd of the Portland, Ore. headquarters.
Each partner has an equity stake in the independent agency and helps shape its priorities. DeCourcy becomes the quickest to make partner since then-global interactive ecd Ian Tait in 2011. Tait exited for Google in 2012, but returned this month as co-ecd of Wieden's London office.
DeCourcy left Socialistic, a social media marketing agency she launched with the backing of Havas, to join Wieden in January 2013. Since then, she and fellow global co-ecd Mark Fitzloff have recruited top talent and set up a group inside the Portland creative department that applies technology to brand problems. The group, known as The Lodge, is seen as a model for the agency's other seven offices.
''Colleen DeCourcy, in a matter of months, has firmly integrated our existing digital talent, added more and enhanced their expertise," said Wieden, who's also global chairman. "This accomplished while trotting around the W+K global network with David Luhr and Mark Fitzloff. Trust me: she's the real deal."
Before Socialistic, DeCourcy held top creative roles at TBWA, JWT and Organic. And while she had plenty of authority at bigger shops like TBWA, where she was global chief digital officer, Wieden gave her a partner, ensuring that she wouldn't become typecast (and isolated) as the "digital chick," as she had before. Also, Fitzloff himself represented an opportunity to learn more about the craft of traditional brand building. Beyond all that, though, DeCourcy simply enjoys the agency's no-nonsense approach.
"There's no theory of anything. That means jack shit in this place," DeCourcy said. "You make stuff or you don't. What you do makes other people's work better or it doesn't. So, really it wasn't about territory, decks, procedures or getting collusion."
Asked about her goals moving forward, DeCourcy paused for a moment and replied: "We are in this place where we're kind of questioning what's going on with the industry. It's not about getting more digital. It's not about getting more social. It's not about solving problems. It's just, when did this industry get so boring?"
She added: "Whatever it means to break the dishes in this building and the other seven buildings that are attached across the world is really our agenda for the next year."