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Ex-Arnold Creative Leader Joins Virginia Startup

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Plus Smith Communications has hired former Arnold creative director Bruce Gifford.

Gifford, 38, joins Matt Smith, who founded Plus Smith last May after leaving Arnold's McLean, Va., office as partner and creative director.

Gifford had been ser ving as de facto executive creative director at Arnold with Fred Burgos, who remains at the Havas-owned shop under its new chief creative officer, Woody Kay.

Arnold's recent purchase of Panoramic Communications' Earle Palmer Brown office in Bethesda, Md., left the agency with a surplus of creative directors, according to Gifford. "It was a lot easier for me to go," he said.

At Arnold, Gifford worked on the Choice Hotels International and BBC America accounts. His résumé also includes stints at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmet terer Euro RSCG in New York.

"We took advantage of the situation," said Smith, whose Falls Church, Va., startup has launched with a handful of clients. "We didn't expect to have any business for six months, then all hell broke loose."

The shop recently picked up creative assignments from Bon Secours' Richmond (Va.) Health System, Charles E. Smith Realty in Washington, D.C., and Vision Computer Works in Los Angeles. Spending for the three accounts was undisclosed.

Plus Smith has also recruited Arnold art director Gerry Jovel and account director T.J. Escott. Other new personnel hires are Suzanne Smith as general manager, Scott Sparks as director of new-business development and Barbara Borst as account planner.

"The prerequisite for working here is that you have to have been a mid- or senior-level manager and have worked at either bigger agencies or small shops with lots of creative experience," said Smith. "Otherwise, I'm not offering anything new to the Washington area."

Plus Smith's print and TV ads for Bon Secours are scheduled to break this week. The shop is also developing a direct-mail campaign for Charles E. Smith Realty's Crystal City. K



ATLANTA— Plus Smith Communications has hired former Arnold creative director Bruce Gifford.

Gifford, 38, joins Arnold alum Matt Smith, who left the McLean, Va. agency last May, as partner and creative director.

Gifford had been serving as "de facto" executive creative director with Fred Burgos, who remains at the Havas-owned shop under its new chief creative officer, Woody Kay.

Arnold's purchase last month of Panoramic Communications' Earle Palmer Brown office in Bethesda, Md., left the shop with a surplus of creative directors, Gifford said.

"It was a lot easier for me to go," he said. At Arnold, Gifford worked on Choice Hotels International and BBC America accounts. He has also worked at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer Euro RSCG in New York.

"We took advantage of the situation," said Smith, whose Falls Church, Va., start-up has taken off with a handful of new clients. "We expected not to have any business for six months, then all hell broke loose."

The shop recently won the creative portions of Bon Secours Richmond Health System, Charles E. Smith Realty in D.C. and Vision Computer Works in Los Angeles. Billings are undisclosed.

Smith has also recruited Arnold art director Gerry Jovel and account director T.J. Escott, who were also both at Arnold. Other new hires include Barbara Borst as account planner, Suzanne Smith as general manager and Scott Sparks as director of new business development.

"The prerequisite for working here is that you have to have been a mid- or senior-level [manager] and have worked at either bigger agencies or small shops with lots of creative experience," Smith said. "Otherwise, I'm not offering anything new to the Washington area."

Work for Bon Secours features print and four TV spots scheduled to break this week. For Charles E. Smith, the agency will develop a print and direct-mail campaign for Crystal City.