VML Expands Chicago Office, Hires ‘Ship My Pants’ Creative Sean Burns

By Erik Oster 

VML is expanding its Chicago office with a series of new hires including executive creative director Sean BurnsNorth American director of optimization and acquisition Erik Peterson and strategic technology lead Rob McCutcheon. The agency also promoted Hilary Murdock to group director, head of strategy.

This series of moves follows VML consolidating its Chicago offices into one large space located at 233 North Michigan Avenue.

In recent months, the WPP shop also won the Wendy’s account (which had been with Publicis), promoted the creatives who helped with the pitch, opened a new San Francisco office and hired two new group directors in New York.


In his new role, Burns will work closely with managing director, executive director Jeremy Schutte as a principal team lead. He joins the agency from FCB Chicago, where he has served as SVP/creative director for over four years. During that time he’s worked with clients including MillerCoors, Hillshire, Cox Cable and Kmart, most prominently on the “Ship My Pants” campaign. Before joining FCB Chicago, Burns spent over 20 years with Grey New York, working as a creative director for brands including Starburst, Aquafresh, UPMC and America’s Natural Gas Alliance.

Peterson joins the agency with over 20 years consulting in the digital marketing industry, with both applied marketing and UX experience.

McCutheon will work across VML’s Gatorade business as strategic technology lead. He has previously served in senior strategy roles for Team Detroit and Razorfish. 

Murdock joined VML in June of 2014, after spending nearly two and half years with FCB Chicago as vice president, strategic planning director, leading strategic planning on the agency’s KFC account. Prior to that, she spent almost three years as a strategy director for Rauxa.