Nick Kaldenbaugh and John Petruney have been named executive vice presidents and group creative directors at Arnold.
The pair were previously senior vice presidents at the Boston agency. Their best known recent work was for Acushnet brands such as Titleist and Pinnacle.
While the new titles may appear to be little more than a cosmetic change or reward for work well done, those close to the pair say Kaldenbaugh and Petruney are being groomed as "future stars" for the shop—especially if Arnold is successful in landing creative and media planning for the $120 million BellSouth account.
"These guys embody all we stand for—they're highly creative, strategic and smart. They care about the clients' business," said Ron Lawner, chief creative officer of Arnold. Lawner praised their Acushnet work for being "as good as it gets in that category."
Kaldenbaugh and Petruney are contributing to the BellSouth pitch (Arnold is one of four finalists) and will lead the creative team if the agency prevails, Kaldenbaugh said.
The pair currently supervise about eight staffers, working almost exclusively on an estimated $25-30 million in Acushnet business since the group's other key client, JetBlue Airways, parted ways with the agency in August.
Kaldenbaugh, an art director, and copywriter Petruney most recently collaborated on a national multimedia push for Titleist's NXT golf balls. The effort launched in October and features Monty Python's John Cleese as Ian MacCallister, a raving, Scottish-brogued golf-course designer. Titleist's long-time tagline is "The No. 1 ball in golf."
Both Kaldenbaugh and Petru-ney joined Arnold in 1995. They had teamed earlier on the IBM account at Wells Rich Green, New York.