New BBDO West director of planning Nick Bartle's first career was as a wine merchant and importer in France and his native Britain. Feeling success was uncertain, he decided at 27 that he wanted to do something different and "asked everyone I met what they did and if they liked it."
"After three months, I determined that most people didn't like what they did," he said.
When a friend suggested advertising, he was hesitant because he thought it was a business "full of miserable people, of liars and cheats." That was until he was introduced to Fiona Clancy, then planning chief at BDDP (now TBWA/Paris) and currently head of strategic planning for TBWA Worldwide, London. Bartle found a role model in Clancy and a new career.
"She was fabulously enthusiastic about what she did, and she really inspired me," Bartle said.
Now 35, Bartle comes to BBDO after three years at fellow Omnicom shop Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. As a group account planning director there, he worked on Hewlett-Packard, E*Trade, eLuxury and Isuzu.
His job at BBDO is a new one, and Bartle is charged with building a department that consists of just one planner. Bartle, based in San Francisco, reports to BBDO West president and CEO Tom Hollerbach, and becomes part of the shop's management team.
"It's a good opportunity to enhance our service capabilities for our clients," Hollerbach said. "It will strengthen our competitiveness in new business and help make sure our strategies help our creatives internally."
In addition to being attracted to BBDO's reputation, Bartle said he was eager to work with the shop's evp and creative director, Jim Lesser.