Mark Simon, the former Campbell Ewald chief creative officer who left the IPG network in the wake of the “Ghetto Day” email controversy earlier this year, has been hired to fill the same position at The Yaffe Group of Southfield, Michigan. This longstanding shop offers a variety of services including “brand-consulting, direct mail programs, [and] creative boutique” in addition to more traditional advertising work.
Yaffe is the same place where Simon began his agency career approximately 30 years ago. In a statement, its president and CEO John Cassidy said:
“Mark started his career at Yaffe and is the perfect fit for our group and our clients. He understands how to turn deep strategic insights into emotional connections, which is critical to our customer-centric world. We have a great team, and our revenue has been steadily growing. Mark’s creative genius and passion will push us to the next level as we look towards achieving our goal of doubling revenue in 2017.”
In a related move, the agency also promoted longtime VP/ECD/head of social media Mike McClure to the role of SVP of digital communications. (The former BBDO Detroit creative director will retain the ECD title and work directly under Simon.)
“I have always had great respect for The Yaffe Group and its ability to stay strong in a very tough business,” Simon said regarding his new job. “There is a unique and genuine team culture that fuels their passion and their success.”
Simon joined Campbell Ewald in 2000 after serving as CD in the Detroit offices of Y&R and FCB. He spent 10 years as ECD before being promoted to chief creative officer — a role he held for more than 6 years until he stepped down in April to be replaced by Jo Shoesmith, a former CD at Leo Burnett Chicago.
Yaffe is one of the oldest ad agencies in the Detroit region. It has a history of working with retail brands and retains several prominent clients in that category. The independent shop, which currently lists a three-pronged suite of services including Consulting, Communications and Data\Analytics, went through a big change last October when founder and then-CEO Fred Yaffe announced his plans to step down and assume the chairman role at the age of 82.