NEW YORK Ari Merkin is leaving Cliff Freeman and Partners at month's end to join the New York office of Fallon as the successor to executive creative director Kevin Roddy, according to sources.
Roddy is departing Fallon to join crosstown shop Euro RSCG MVBMS as a partner and ECD of advertising.
Fallon executives could not immediately be reached.
Merkin, who joined New York independent Cliff Freeman in December as an associate creative director, is one of several senior staffers to depart in recent weeks. Creative director Eric Silver in June exited to join Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi. Three other Cliff Freeman executives (Charles Rosen, Jason Gaboriau and Doug Cameron) recently opened a shop in New York called Amalgamated.
Merkin, 33, had initially worked on Cliff Freeman's largest account, the $50 million Value City business, and its $5-10 million Hollywood Video offshoot. Shop principal Cliff Freeman said he plans to replace Merkin by promoting someone from within the agency, but he would not say whom. Merkin joined from Maxxcom's Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami where he worked on the Ikea and Mini Cooper accounts. He declined to comment.
Roddy's move to Havas-owned MVBMS comes on the heels of ex-Fallon production executive Mark Sitley's decision to join MVBMS Partners as ECD of production, starting next month [Adweek, July 7]. The shop in New York had been looking to fill the post for several months.
Roddy will oversee the shop's creative output and will be responsible for spearheading the direction of global and national advertising accounts, an agency representative said. He will report to Euro RSCG MVBMS president John Berg.
In his four years at Publicis Groupe's Fallon, Roddy worked on campaigns for clients such as Time and Sports Illustrated magazines, Conseco financial services, Timberland and the FX Network.
—with Andrew McMains
This story updates an item posted earlier today.