Executive Shakeup at Creature Seattle?

By Patrick Coffee 

James-KeblasSeattle-based Creature intrigued a few parties around the industry back in June by hiring a new president from a place very far outside the agency world: local politics.

James Keblas spent nine years as director of Seattle’s Office of Film + Music before being fired by the mayor in 2014. Creature then hired him thanks, at least in part, to the success of the “Commercialize Seattle” campaign, which encouraged agencies to promote the city as a cultural/production destination.

Now, it seems that public service is calling Keblas’ name once again. Last week, he officially filed to run for one of the city council’s “at-large seats” created by a recent redistricting process. He’s currently one of 40 candidates, but confirmed his plans to run with local blog The Stranger two weeks ago despite the fact that he “doesn’t have any specific policy proposals yet.”

City council is not technically a full-time job, but the campaign itself will inevitably affect Keblas’ ability to retain his position with the agency.

In other Creature news, client IGT (International Game Technology) is reviewing its account. Creature helped launch the client’s DoubleDown Casino mobile game product last year as part of a campaign that included interactive sites.

IGT, which bought the company responsible for DoubleDown, just completed its own merger today: the “slot machine manufacturing juggernaut” was acquired by Italian company GTECH, and the resulting company is “the world’s top gaming machine manufacturer”; its CEO rang the bell to start trading on Wall Street this morning.

The client gave us “no comment” on the review, which is a standard move for a company that just went through major leadership changes and now faces new pressure to boost its stock prices.

We have not yet heard back from Creature regarding Keblas’ future with the agency.

Updates when they come in.