The Martin Agency Vet Mike Lear Joins Erwin Penland as ECD

By Erik Oster 

Erwin Penland appointed Mike Lear as executive vice president, executive creative director, its first major appointment since naming Joe Saracino as Joe Erwin‘s successor as president in November.  In the role, Lear will work closely with chief creative officer Con Williamson, leading creative and strategy for clients while also playing a key role in new business efforts.

Lear joined Erwin Penland from The Martin Agency late last year. He served as senior vice president, creative director at The Martin Agency for nearly 12 years, working on accounts such as GEICO, UPS, Nascar, Discover Card, the American Cancer Society and Mentos. Prior to that he spent two years at CP+B as a senior copywriter, working on MINI, Truth, IKEA, Molson, Shimano, Bell and Virgin Atlantic. That followed eight years as a senior copywriter with WestWayne in Atlanta. He has also been a guest lecturer for VCU Brandcenter since 2006. 

“We’re building something at EP,” Williamson told Adweek. “I would almost call it a startup. The best part is, new business is calling. There’s no role for a ceremonial creative director anymore, and he can lead by example…It feels like Mike’s been working with us for years. He’s home. He already has one pitch under his belt.”

“I’m going to jump in wherever I’m needed [at Erwin Penland],” Lear added. “I don’t want to stop writing, and it’s great to be able to do that while working with younger creatives that we want to help nurture.”