LONDON Wieden + Kennedy named executive creative directors Tony Davidson and Kim Papworth -- the creative talent behind campaigns like Honda's "Cog" -- partners in the agency, the first employees to be given a stake in the shop in 13 years.
It's also the first time the 27-year-old company has gone outside its Portland, Ore., headquarters in appointing partners. Wieden now has seven partners. The London-based duo join co-founder Dan Wieden, COO Dave Luhr, ecd Susan Hoffman, Wieden Entertainment president Bill Davenport and co-ecd John Jay -- the last to be appointed a partner in 1996 -- in agency ownership.
"If you want to be a partner at W+K, you've got to be some kind of saint and some kind of crazy. No one exemplifies that more profoundly than Tony and Kim," said CEO Dan Wieden. "They have raised the bar, broken rules, lifted hearts and shocked the world. There is no office, anywhere, more loved and respected than W+K London."
Davidson and Papworth have been the driving force behind the creative rejuvenation of that office since their arrival in 2000. The two were behind campaigns like Nike's "Run London," Aiwa's digital world and Honda's "Power of Dreams." They are also known for their work like Nike's "St. Wayne" poster -- where they painted the body of footballer Wayne Rooney with a red St. George's cross of the English flag during the 2006 World Cup -- and Flat Eric for Levi's while working at Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
Under Davidson and Papworth's leadership, Wieden London achieved a pitch conversion rate of 80 percent or higher in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Davidson and Papworth began their partnership in 1985 after meeting at Boase Massimi Pollitt, where they worked on Volkswagen, Sony, War on Want and Crookes Healthcare. In 1994, they moved to Leagas Delaney and were associated with The Guardian, Pepe, Adidas and the BBC. In 1997, they moved to BBH and Levi's.
"To be made the first partners of Wieden + Kennedy outside the U.S. is a great honor," said Davidson. "For us it is recognition for everyone who has helped make the London office a success. We couldn't have done it without them or our clients."