Haddad Hears the Freelance Call, Leaves Conn. Shop After 26 Years
BOSTON-Partner and executive creative director Dik Haddad is leaving Mintz & Hoke to pursue freelance opportunities.
Haddad joined the Avon, Conn., shop 26 years ago as its first copywriter, recruited by co-founders Alan Mintz and Joe Hoke.
Mintz has since retired and Hoke last year sold his stake in the agency to a group of senior managers, but those decisions had little to do with his own, Haddad said. His departure, which he's been considering for the past couple of years, stemmed from a desire to pursue new ventures.
"Frankly, I don't know where this adventure will take me," he said last week. "But then if I did, it wouldn't be much of an adventure, would it?"
Haddad's undisclosed stake in the agency will be bought out.
A versatile copywriter with a track record for writing, directing and producing some memorably funny spots for retailers such as Ames Department Stores and Bradlee's, Haddad was never drawn to the business of running an ad agency.
In recent years he has worked almost exclusively on the Ames business as a writer, director and producer. Those reins are being turned over to creative director Chuck Borghese and a pair of creatives working for him, including senior copywriter David Banta, recruited from Foote, Cone & Belding in San Francisco.
Haddad said he was never officially hired by the agency. After a stint in the military, he joined Mintz & Hoke in 1973 on what was to be a trial basis. At the end of the first week, Mintz was out of town so Haddad just showed up the following Monday.
"I kept coming back week after week and they kept paying me . . . I never planned on staying this long," he joked. "When I started, we had seven people, and now we're the seventh largest in New England." Actually, Mintz & Hoke, which reported revenues of $11 million and billings of $74 million in 1998, is now the sixth- largest shop in the region, and the biggest in Connecticut.
Having worked so long at a single agency, Haddad said he is excited by the opportunity to collaborate with those he has come to know in the ad business. "I really don't know what my reputation is outside of Mintz & Hoke," he said. "I guess I'll find out." ƒ