Internal Memo: Andy Bird Named CCO of Publicis New York

By Patrick Coffee 

Back in March we noted that a certain big-name agency in North America was about to hire a new creative leader based overseas.

We couldn’t confirm it at the time, but today it’s official: Andy Bird will be chief creative officer for Publicis New York. His hiring coincides with Publicis’ unveiling of its new logo and the assimilation of what was once Publicis Kaplan Thaler.

The release tells us that Bird–who is currently ECD at Publicis London–will relocate to New York in September and that he will divide his time between the two offices in the meantime “to ensure a smooth transition.”

The Publicis narrative positions his hire as the culmination of efforts by CEO Andrew Bruce and North America Chairman Susan Gianinno to build “a powerhouse North America leadership team” with the new chief driving creative. It’s the last(?) step in a “refresh” that most prominently includes December’s victory in the Cadillac review.

Bird, who lists his first agency position as “sulking teenager” at McCann, led art and design at BBH for seven years, founded a couple of agencies of his own, and managed Ogilvy’s London creative department before joining Publicis almost exactly three years ago.

He will effectively replace departed Publicis Kaplan Thaler CCO Rob Feakins. But who will handle the duck?!

Here’s the memo:

Dear Publicis North America,

Today it was announced that Andy Bird, one of the most awarded members of the Publicis family, will be joining Publicis in New York as Chief Creative Officer. Andy comes to us from London, and as many of you know, has already been highly involved in some of our major global clients including Nestlé, P&G and Cadillac.

We are thrilled and excited to have Andy’s talent join our group, and we look forward to great work ahead with Andy’s leadership and creative vision. He is the last, key player in our North America leadership team.

Some of you have already begun to work with Andy and know firsthand that you can indeed be nice AND a brilliant creative leader, as Andy is both. Those of you in New York will be introduced to Andy at the June 30th all agency meeting. And he will be fully transitioning to New York with his family in September. We can’t wait. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Andy to the New York family.