Rapid growth has led Rodgers Townsend to formalize the upper-management structure of its creative department and name Tom Hudder executive creative director.
Hudder joined the St. Louis shop in February 1998 from crosstown agency The Glennon Co., where he was chief creative officer and partner. At the time, Rodgers was less than two years old and had no formal titles. Hudder was an art director assigned to various clients.
Agency principal Tom Townsend remains chief creative officer. His primary duty is now creative direction, with Hudder taking the bulk of the organizational chores. The rest of the creative department remains flat, Townsend said.
"This frees up Townsend to be involved in all the work, and Hudder has the background in management and running a department," said agency principal Tim Rodgers.
The agency has grown to 17 creatives, necessitating greater oversight. "When you've got five people within five feet of each other, it's easier to keep track of things," Rodgers said.
Townsend and Rodgers left the city's largest shop, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, in late 1996. The goal for their shop, then and now, is to keep a small group of senior people directly connected to clients.
"The creative freedom to work without layers is the ideal," Townsend said. "We need to reconcile that with continued growth."
Rodgers Townsend now claims billings of more than $50 million, most recently augmented in August with the win of United Industries Corp.'s Spectrum line of pesticides. K