Raised in London's East End, Simon Fairweather's appointment last week as senior vice president and creative director on Pontiac at Chemistri in Detroit takes him from the playing fields of Birmingham, England, to living in Birmingham, Mich.
"Pontiac is one of the unique, great brands of the U.S.," Fairweather said of his new assignment. "There's an intrigue to this brand. I don't feel I've seen enough of it."
At the Publicis Groupe agency, Fairweather will partner with cd George Katsarelas and report to ecd/evp Tor Myhren.
A garage-band rocker who once ran in the same circles as Iggy Pop and Morrissey, Fairweather, 43, was most recently at JWT New York, where he was instrumental in the global refashioning of Rolex. But unlike many who consider New York the final stop in an advertising career, Fairweather was ready to leave cramped quarters for a large backyard and safe neighborhood in the Midwest.
After a stint playing right corner and slot back for the Manchester Spartans American football team, Fairweather worked as a photographer in the cosmetics trade and for Fiat's marketing director. He joined Young & Rubicam London as head of advertising design in 1993 and later moved to Ammirati Puris Lintas London.
When Ammirati merged with Lowe, Fairweather freelanced until settling as vp and type director at Hill Holliday New York, where he won the Design Award for Excellence from Communication Arts for the 2001 Popeye's campaign. He moved to JWT in 2002.
Descended from a family line of Scottish printers and lithographers, Fairweather strongly adheres to the old-world craft of typography. He still insists on wood and metal typesetting in print ads, preferring the fonts' "sweet character" and "less generic, exact and regimented" appearance. "The idea is king, but how you make that flourish can be said in so many different ways," he said.