Innocean Hires DDB/VW Vet Craigen to Run Creative

By Patrick Coffee 

In March, Campaign Brief reported that Jeremy Craigen, ECD at DDB London who led the Volkswagen account, would be leaving the agency after 25 years.

After joining the shop as a junior copywriter way back in 1990, Craigen worked his way up to run the account–and now we know that he landed a new gig with auto-focused agency Innocean.

Both More About Advertising and our readers seem to think that Craigen did not leave voluntarily. Specifically, they name DDB’s Global CCO Amir Kassaei, who succeeded Bob Scarpelli in early 2011, as the key reason for his departure.

Prior to his promotion, Kassaei was CCO and partner at DDB Germany. Responsibility for the global VW account recently moved from the UK’s adam&eveDDB to the office formerly run by Kassaei, and MAA’s sources claim that Craigen was not invited to move along with the account he led due to unstated disagreements with Kassaei and another office’s CEO.

Now he will run the creative team at Innocean, which MAA calls “Hyundai’s in-house agency.” This week Craigen received high praise from the Korea Times, which wrote:

“Innocean Worldwide, an advertizing unit of Hyundai Motor Group, said Tuesday it has hired a British national with 30-years experience in advertizing as its new global chief creative officer (CCO).

Craigen said he will do everything he can to improve the quality of Innocean’s creative output and expand its business.”

For the record, Craigen himself said:

“What I love about Innocean is their honesty about themselves and their ambition for the future. It is a great company, headed by great people. And this is exactly the opportunity I have been waiting for.”

He will continue to work from his home base in the U.K.

Innocean most recently expanded its executive team in the U.S. with the addition of former Doner President Timothy Blett to the EVP/managing director role.

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