Though Paul Silburn has spent his entire career in London, the executive's innate "Midwesternness" appealed to native Minnesotan Pat Fallon—a trait that meshes with his eponymous agency.
"Our talks were not about the size of his office or his title; they were about the work," said Fallon, chairman of the Publicis Groupe shop.
Silburn, most recently deputy creative director at Omnicom Group's TBWA in London, last week was named executive creative director of Fallon North America. (He starts in January.) Those duties were formerly handled by David Lubars, who arrived at Omnicom's BBDO as North American chairman and chief creative officer in September.
Silburn, 44, joins at a crucial time. Under Lubars, the agency—always highly regarded creatively—moved to the forefront of marketing's hot sector: branded entertainment. (In what was Lubars' last hurrah, the shop produced a series of Web films for Amazon.com that allow viewers to buy items shown in the movies.)
But Silburn is no stranger to nontraditional marketing. His 2000 spot for John West salmon depicting a man fighting a bear for a fish gained worldwide attention (and a Cannes Gold Lion), thanks to e-mail. "[Modern marketing] is about connecting with people," Silburn said.
"Every agency he's worked at he's left a legacy," said Mark Tutssel, deputy CCO for Leo Burnett North America, who supervised Silburn during the latter's stint at the Publicis shop's London office in 2000.