VB&P Adds 6 to Its Creative Team

By Erik Oster 

Venables Bell & Partners announced six new creative hires, resulting from recent account wins such as Celebrity Cruises, Miller Coors’ faux-craft beer brand Leinenkugel’s, Adidas Golf and Massage Envy. The hires include senior art director Gus Johnston, senior copywriter Ryan Hoercher, copywriters Daniel Chen and Chris Bull, art director Aisha Hakim and designer Blake Johnston.

Gus Johnston arrives at the agency following a freelance stint as a creative consultant. Before that, he spent over five years with Digital Pigeon, which he co-founded. The former hockey goalie also spent around two and a half years with BWM Melbourne as a deputy creative director and has worked as a freelance senior art director with agencies including Grey Group, DDB Melbourne and JWT Melbourne. He made the jump to senior art director with Clemenger BBDO in 2006 and stayed with the agency for three years. Over the course of his career he has worked with clients such as Ford, John West, ANZ, Snickers, Jeep, M&M’s and Mercedes Benz.

Hoercher joins VB&P from Deutsch, where he spent nearly two years as an associate creative director, working on Volkswagen. That followed over six years with Goodby Silverstein and Partners, “Making ads and performing [his] best contemporary tap routine.” He also was a founder of NDFTBK, a fully functioning art collective.


Chen arrives following over two years as a copywriter with 180LA, working on brands such as Mitsubishi, HP, Boost Mobile and Zumba. Bull joins VB&P from Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, where he served as a senior copywriter for the past two years, working with brands including Columbia Sportswear, Mini Cooper and Nokia.

Hakim joins the agency from Innocean USA, where she notably worked on a Super Bowl spot Hyundai. Blake Johnston, meanwhile, arrives from Attick, where his clients included Toyota and Scion.