Allen & Gerritsen Signs New Chief Creative Officer

By Patrick Coffee Comment

Boston/Philadelphia-based Allen & Gerritsen has found its new chief creative officer: Jennifer Putnam, formerly with SapientNitro. In the new role, Putnam will oversee creative across the organization, including campaigns for the agency’s newest client Yuengling.

The announcement also includes a change for Gary Greenberg, a nearly fifteen-year A&G veteran who was previously EVP/CCO. In his new role as EVP/CD, he will focus on expanding the agency’s broadcast capability by leading a new unit dedicated to a “creative collaborative of film, video and post-production.” The idea is that A&G will move beyond your standard ads to work on “original programming, films and documentaries” like a full-service prodco.

Putnam, who will work in the agency’s Boston office, previously spent just over two years as a creative director at SapientNitro. Her agency resume is extensive: after joining DDB Needham as an art director and spending seven years as ACD at Leo Burnett on the P&G business, she moved to Ogilvy where she was a partner/CD focused on TV and print work for Sears and Dove.

Her longest in-house stint was a more than twelve-year tenure at Digitas, where she was VP/group director and worked under George Tannenbaum, who may or may not be the angriest man in advertising. Before joining Sapient, she was the inaugural SVP/creative for online retailer Rue La La.

Putnam is also the daughter of Peace Corps volunteers, and the release tells us that A&G hired her both for her pro-bono and cause-based ad work and for her “passion to communicate across contemporary channels–particularly to women–and her visionary leadership style.”

A&G CEO Andrew Graff makes a point of noting that his agency will now have one of the industry’s lamentably few female creative leaders, writing:

“Jen will push A&G’s inventive creative even further toward what I believe will be the future of consumer engagement. Jen sees ‘user experience’ as a mindset, not a department. She is exactly the leader, driver, teammate and mentor to create the next chapters of contemporary creative excellence at A&G.”

Putnam herself writes that “The opportunity to help lead [A&G’s] next surge to even greater heights is the opportunity of a lifetime–and it’s only that kind of opportunity that could entice me to leave a great agency like SapientNitro.”

Greenberg, who Graff praises for having “done so much for A&G over the years,” says he is excited about the new business unit and “could not be more proud to hand the CCO reins to Jen.”

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