Barkley Hires Deutsch Vet as ECD

By Patrick Coffee 

jason elmKansas City agency Barkley, which definitely did not commission an impressive “Creation of Adam” mural in its office last summer, hired longtime Deutsch veteran Jason Elm as its newest ECD.

He will join former CP+B ACD Berk Wasserman, who came to Barkley last July as VP/creative director, as well as VP/group account leader and fellow Deutsch alum Valencia Gayles. (Both moved to the Midwest in a mini-hiring spree during the Summer of 2014.)

Elm, who spent the last year and half as a freelancer in the San Francisco area with clients ranging from Google to Walmart, will officially become ECD on April 13th. In the new role, he will “enable and inspire all creative output for one of the nation’s largest independently-owned creative agencies,” which includes Target, Cargill, Spirit Airlines, Dairy Queen, and others on its client roster.


He will also work closely with Tim Galles, the former ECD/CSO who Barkley recently named its first “chief idea officer.”

Elm wrote copy for a couple of California agencies before joining Deutsch LA in 1998. He worked on Expedia and TGIFriday’s before helping the agency win the Sony PlayStation and Diamond Foods accounts and ascending to the EVP role.

Back in 2012, Business Insider mastered the grammatically awkward headline while naming Elm as one of its 37 creatives “most lusted after by rival agencies.” This diagnosis proved accurate: less than a year later, he left Deutsch for DDB California and wrote a guest post for us on “unplugging” at Cannes. The DDB gig ended up lasting less than three months, however, and led our readers to speculate on what caused the relationship to dissolve.

In 2014, Barkley CEO Jeff King told Kansas City Business Journal that he hires executives by positioning KC “as an advertising destination and an advertising market,” adding, “the city sells itself.”