ECD Matt Ian Leaving TBWA for Droga5

By Patrick Coffee 

Matt Ian, a longtime creative department fixture who spent the last two years as ECD at TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, will leave that agency this month to become group creative director at Droga5.

Sources told us about the move before the ink had even dried on Ian’s contract, and today his new employer confirmed the story as he prepares to end his tenure with the TBWA organization.

Almost exactly two years ago, Ian left Deutsch LA for TBWA in order to replace Mark Figliulo; the latter had just made the break in order to launch his own agency, which later won and lost Sprint. While at Deutsch, Ian served as ECD on the Volkswagen account but did not work on that one campaign. You know the one.


Prior to his 2011 hire by then-Deutsch CCO Mark Hunter, Ian led creative on the Microsoft Windows account at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky. During his previous nine-year stint with BBH in the Big Apple, he helped launch AXE in the states while writing and directing ads for Johnnie Walker and Levi’s, among others. Prior agency roles include stints writing copy at Ogilvy & Mather and, yes, TBWA New York under then-chief David Page (currently of BouchezPage).

When Rob Schwartz was promoted to CEO of TBWA New York in January, he said that Matt Ian would retain his ECD position–but Ian frames the new gig as the product of a natural and even inevitable progression, writing:

“I’ve always admired Droga5’s strong creative pedigree and diversity of client experience. Overall, the agency has produced some of the most influential work in the business, and if you can’t beat em, join ‘em.”

The new hire, of course, follows the agency’s big week at Cannes, at which it won Independent Agency of the Year. From Chief Creative Officer Ted Royer:

“Over the past year, Droga5 has experienced exponential growth and a record year on the awards front. We are always looking to add great talent to the team to continue this momentum. We are are thrilled to welcome Matt to the agency and look forward to seeing him in action.”

And here we thought no one in the ad industry obsessed over awards.