In what inadvertently turns out to be a swap of Miami and Boston-area players, Crispin Porter & Bogusky has made a key hire but lost a key contributor to its signature "Truth" campaign.
Tom Birk has joined CP&B as director of account planning from Arnold Communications in Boston, replacing the Miami agency's award-winning Jennifer Urich, who left earlier this year to pursue a freelance career.
"Tough shoes to fill," said Birk, who joined Arnold three years ago when the agency acquired Houston Hersteck Favat, where he was a partner. "There's some pressure, but I wanted to come down here and be part of this talent pool."
Birk, 40, helped Arnold land Volkswagen and other high-profile accounts that have turned the agency into New England's largest with $781 million in billings.
Birk's wife, Victoria, an account manager at RDW Group in Providence, R.I., will join her husband in Miami, but may or may not take a job "after she becomes acclimated to the area."
Agency chairman Chuck Porter said Birk is the first CP&B vice president hired from outside the shop.
Leaving, however, is Tim Roper, the copywriter who recently moved up to associate creative director at CP&B. Roper jumped to Mullen in Wehham, Mass., as vice president and group creative director.
Roper said his decision to join Mullen was based on a "good combination of creative opportunity, lifestyle and the chance to work on national brands."
Mullen "aggressively recruited" Roper over the past five months, said agency creative director Edward Boches. "He's one of the top copywriters in the country. He's won virtually every creative award in the world, and more importantly, [the ads have been] very effective."
Roper was lead creative, along with art director Paul Keister, on a pair of faux movie trailers for the Florida Department of Health's anti-smoking "Truth" campaign.
"Roper is a terrific writer, but when he came here from Harris Drury Cohen, nobody knew him," Porter said. "He got famous here. We'll totally miss Roper, but we're confident . . . good people will continually want to come here. We'll give them opportunities to be as good as they possibly can be."