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W+K Adds 4 Partners

Agency now has 11
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Wieden + Kennedy, well-known for its careful selection in adding new partners, named four additional ones at the independent Portland, Ore.-based agency: Portland managing director Tom Blessington, London managing director Neil Christie, Portland executive creative director Mark Fitzloff, and global interactive ecd Iain Tait.

In a statement, agency co-founder Dan Wieden said, “We are very picky, slow, and deliberate when it comes to adding new partners. The truth is we have an abundance of talent throughout the network with new opportunities popping up quite regularly.”

The last two W + K execs to be given a stake in the shop was in 2009. At that time, Tony Davidson and Kim Papworth, executive creative directors in the agency’s London office, were the first new partners in 13 years.  

The agency’s other partners are Wieden, COO Dave Luhr, ecd Susan Hoffman, W + K Entertainment executive producer Bill Davenport and global ecd John Jay.

Among the new partners, Portland managing director Blessington joined W + K in 1990 after working at Hill Holliday, Boston. Since then he has run the Nike accounts at W + K Portland and Amsterdam. He was group account director for Miller Brewing Co. and Coca-Cola in Portland and was the first managing director of W + K, New York. Blessington spent four years at TBWA\Chiat\Day before returning to W + K in 2006, when he assumed his current role.

London managing director Neil Christie began his career at ABM before moving on to Yellowhammer and Bartle Bogle Hegarty. He then spent eight years at TBWA, where he ran accounts like Nissan and Cadbury before he became client services director and then managing director. Christie joined W + K in London as managing director in 2004.

In Portland, ecd Mark Fitzloff joined the agency in 1999, working as a copywriter on the Alta Vista, Nike, and Coca-Cola accounts. He was appointed creative director on Old Spice, with the mandate to revitalize the brand, and has been associated with the brand’s prize-winning work in recent years. He was made an ecd in 2008.

Ian Tait joined W + K as global interactive ecd in 2010. He was previously a founder and creative director at London digital agency Poke, where he worked on accounts like American Express, Orange, and Yahoo. An initial initiative of Tait’s after joining W + K was working on the Old Spice “Response Campaign,” where Isaiah Mustafa, featured in the "Man Your Man Could Smell Like" pitch, responded to fans in a social media campaign.