BBDO N.Y. Boosts Creative Leadership With 3 Hires and 1 Promotion

By Patrick Coffee 

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L to R: Blake Kidder, Susan Golkin, Doug Fallon, Steven Fogel

BBDO New York announced three key hires and one promotion today, further solidifying the leadership of its creative department.

Susan Golkin has been promoted to the role of executive creative director while the agency hired Doug Fallon and Steven Fogel to serve as ECDs and Blake Kidder as a senior creative director. The moves officially went into effect this week.

“Susan, Doug, Steven and Blake are award-winning, industry-defining, obsessively-focused creative leaders who are also really good people,” said chief creative officer Greg Hahn in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited to have them here.”

Golkin, who has been with the BBDO organization for nearly a decade, will lead creative on the Campbell’s Soup, Quaker Oats, AFI and Dove Chocolate accounts moving forward; she was credited as ECD on campaigns produced for the latter two clients in recent weeks and also led Campbell’s Star Wars tie-in campaign “Your Father,” which aired in late 2015.

Fallon and Fogel come to BBDO from Grey New York. They first worked together on a Dairy Queen campaign and later served as co-creative leads on the DirecTV business, which is now with BBDO following parent company AT&T’s decision to consolidate its ad business with Omnicom last month. They will effectively reprise their roles on DirecTV, which will continue to be run as a separate account.

Kidder most recently worked as a freelancer after holding positions in the creative departments of Wieden + Kennedy Sao Paulo and Amsterdam, Mullen Boston and TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles. She will be senior creative director on the Visa account in New York.

“We have a good talent pool now across the business,” said Hahn when we spoke to him about the news. He said that BBDO had been eyeing Fallon and Fogel for some time: “They interviewed here 3-4 years ago, and we kept an eye on them.” Hahn called the AT&T decision “a perfect opportunity to bring these guys aboard,” adding, “They’ve done great work on the business. They’ll all be reporting into Matt MacDonald [who leads the larger creative team] because we want all messaging to be in-line” across the AT&T and DirecTV brands. Last month, Grey went through a cross-department staffing reduction before Fallon and Fogel accepted the new positions with BBDO.

In April, Omnicom CEO John Wren made headlines when he referenced BBDO’s promise to double the number of female leaders in its creative department over the next 12 months. Golkin’s promotion and the hiring of Blake do move the organization toward this goal, though Hahn says Wren’s statement did not ultimately factor into the decision.

“Above all else it’s about talent and opportunity,” Hahn said, “no matter what the individual’s chromosomal makeup happens to be.” He pointed to recent work Golkin has done on Campbell’s, AFI and Dove, adding, “She’s taking on a lot more responsibility … it felt like a natural progression at this time.” Hahn also praised Blake, who will report directly to ECD Michael Aimette on the Visa account.

Earlier this week, BBDO also furthered its commitment to data-driven creative work by hiring MEC veteran Sharona Shankar-King to fill the newly created role of EVP/head of marketing science. She will work under head of data solutions Tina Allan, who joined last year to help develop the New York data practice.

Hahn told us that the concept of data-supported creative is “not just a PR line.” He said, “Creatives embrace it; it makes the work sharper. We had conversations [about data] from the beginning in which I could see creatives’ eyes go wide with fear. But basing creative on behavior? That’s like candy.”

In other BBDO news, Robin Fitzgerald officially started her job as chief creative officer at the agency’s Atlanta office this week.

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