VML Sends Dustin M. Thomas to Memphis as Creative Lead on the Navy Account

By Erik Oster 

VML promoted Dustin M. Thomas to creative director working on the Navy account in Memphis.

This news comes more than 15 months after Y&R won the business, which had previously been with Campbell Ewald, in a creative review. The subsequent legal fight over the decision lasted more than a year, and Y&R finally held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the dedicated Memphis office last month.

Thomas has relocated from Atlanta to Memphis to work on the business as part of the “Navy Partnership” of WPP agencies: lead shop Y&R, Wunderman, Burson-Marsteller, MEC and Uniworld. In the new role, he will lead creative on the digital portion of the account, including strategy, brand experience, culture building and execution for web and social media. He will work report to VML executive creative director and department head Maurizio Villarreal.


The release tells us that Thomas has “more than a decade of writing and leadership experience in traditional and digital advertising and marketing—as well as an innate knowledge of film & media production and direction.”

The newly promoted CD joined VML as an associate creative director two years ago, and has worked with brands including Ford, Krispy Kreme, Microsoft, Mazda, Kimberly-Clark and Bank of Montreal.

Before moving to WPP, he spent nearly two years as a senior copywriter and creative lead on Unit 3C with Moxie, also working with brands including Coke, Chick-fil-A, Georgia Pacific, Verizon, Brawny and Angel Soft. Prior to that he spent over ten years as a freelance creative director, copywriter and producer, working with clients including Apple, Nike and the University of Southern California.