ATLANTA-Turner & Turner Communications here last week signed Rudy Fernandez as creative director, an equity position that will lead to adding his name to the agency's door in one year.
Jamie Turner, president and chief executive officer of Turner & Turner Communications (T&TC), said the agency began courting Fernandez this spring, when he left his creative director's post at Lewis Advertising in Birmingham, Ala. [Adweek, March 17] and returned to the Atlanta market.
Since then, Fernandez has freelanced for local shops, including Austin Kelley Advertising, Fitzgerald & Co., Match, and Hughes Advertising, where he served as creative director before moving to Birmingham.
Although he has fielded "about five job offers" from various Atlanta agencies, Fernandez felt a certain camaraderie toward Jamie Turner.
"He's probably the most straightforward and ethical person I've ever met in advertising," Fernandez said. In addition, Fernandez sees T&TC as a rising star: "There's no other direction for this agency to go than up, and I wanted to be part of that."
Turner-who had been serving as creative director since opening T&TC in 1992 with his father, Mike Turner-projected that the shop will nearly double its billings from $3.5 million in 1996 to about $7 million by year's end. He attributes the boost to growth from existing clients as well as new accounts gained since last fall, including Cox Cable in Macon, Ga., Primestar by Cox in Atlanta, and the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal. T&TC also received creative recognition by winning best of show honors in the print category at the local Addy competition earlier this year.
Comparing the last year to "a rocket ship taking off and I'm lassoed to it," Turner said having Fernandez on board will allow him to "steer this rocket and not just ride it."
Turner also hopes to leverage Fernandez's experience in healthcare and resort advertising. In the last couple years, the 32-year-old Fernandez has earned kudos from The One Show, The Effies and Communication Arts magazine-all for resort and real estate clients.