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A Long-Distance Hire for GSD&M

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Forms 6-Month 'Creative Partnership' With a Boston Copywriter
DALLAS--GSD&M has inked Boston ad veteran Ernie Schenck as a freelance creative resource, launching a nontethered "creative partnership" between the Austin, Texas, agency and the award-winning New England copywriter.
Schenck, formerly executive vice president and group creative director at Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, has agreed to work exclusively with the $750 million Omnicom-owned GSD&M for six months on projects. He will provide his copywriting skills to any number of the shop's clients, including Southwest Airlines and the Texas Lottery.
His compensation package was undisclosed; a GSD&M representative allowing only that it "is as unique as the relationship is itself."
Both sides said the arrangement is an "experiment," downplaying any notion the alliance will lead to a permanent position. Schenck, in fact, is adamant that his days as an agency full-timer are over.
"You know, the schmoozing, the hand-holding, the golf outings, the dinners, the back-rubbing . . . that's just not me," said Schenck. "I like to be holed up in a room with my craft. That's how I like to work."
GSD&M president Roy Spence and Schenck were brought together through Tiverton, R.I., consultant Tom Monahan, who Schenck said "raved" about the shop's loose creative structure--no executive creative director slots and few management responsibilities for seven on-staff CDs. The agency's reputation as a creative magnet grew in recent months with the arrival of talent from Wieden & Kennedy and Fallon McElligott.
"We're trying conceptually to have groups of high-powered creatives and relieve them from as much management responsibilities as we can," said Spence. "Ernie and I began talking awhile back . . .
He's a brilliant writer and a provocative thinker."
Monahan, who worked with Schenck earlier in his career, described GSD&M as "an agency with a real culture . . . It doesn't just give lip service [to culture]." It is "an environment where there is less fear and loathing and less politics," Monahan said.
Schenck has won a host of One Show, Clio and Cannes awards in his 27-year career. Last year, a 90-second spot he wrote for John Hancock Insurance was honored at Cannes and was an Emmy semifinalist.