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Topolewski Shakes Up D'Arcy

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DETROIT--Gary Topolewski, who was brought in two months ago to recharge the creative product at D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, has made his first high-level hires and let go about a dozen creatives.

Joining the Troy, Mich., shop last week as svps/creative directors are Patricia Breen, 41, and Dan Willey, 45, who will work on GM's Cadillac and Pontiac brands. Both were formerly vps, cds at PentaMark, and worked with Topolewski at FCB on Chrysler from the late 1980s through early 2000. They report to Topolewski.

"Pattie and Dan are pros with exceptional creative instincts," said Topolewski. "In their work on Jeep and many other brands, they demonstrated ... laser-like insight into contemporary consumer preferences."

The cuts, made across various levels two weeks ago, were part of a "retooling" of the shop's 70-member department, agency rep Patrick McCarthy said. Topolewski and other agency execs declined further comment, but McCarthy said Topolewski will make more hires "relatively soon."

Topolewski, 44, returned to Detroit in late May after a year at TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif. He partners with COO Stan Fields to run the 350-person shop. At the time of his hire, Fields said he wanted the creative level that was achieved for Chrysler and Jeep at FCB to be attained by D'Arcy in Detroit.

While McCarthy said economics had nothing to do with the layoffs, GM spending has been down or flat. GM spent $45 million on ads for Cadillac from January-April 2001, down from $85 million for the same period in 2000, per CMR. Pontiac spending was flat.