Y&R New York Boosts Creative, Digital Departments

By Erik Oster 

Y&R New York added to its creative and digital departments with three new hires: executive creative director Ryan Blum, director of interactive and activation Catherine Patterson and digital experience director Eric Ackley

“These hires will help us to be led more by creative and digital, to move into areas like user experience and experiential,” said Y&R New York CCO Leslie Sims.

Blum will be leading the Y&R’s Navy partnership while helping launch the Memphis office that finally opened after nearly a year of legal back-and-forth involving the client’s previous agency, Campbell Ewald.

He joins the agency from Publicis Seattle, where he has served as creative director since January of 2015, focusing on the T-Mobile. Prior to that he spent two years with TraceyLocke as a group creative director working on brands including Samsung, Texas Lottery and 7-Eleven. He spent an earlier stint with TraceyLocke as a copywriter, beginning in March of 2002 and leaving in February of 2008 to join The Martin Agency. During his original run with TL, he worked on the Kwik-E-Mart 7-Eleven cross-promotional campaign with The Simpsons Movie.

(Another creative who worked on that campaign, Kyle Jones, recently joined Kansas City-based agency Barkley.)
image-2Patterson comes to Y&R after serving as a founding partner for “creative and strategic SWAT team” TakeTheKing since September of 2015. Before that she spent a year as senior vice president, executive producer/creative technology and emerging media group at McCann New York, following six years with he agency as SVP of its experience group. She worked with Sims while at McCann, led the Nature Valley Trail View project, designed the digital and social media launches for the Phoenix Mars Lander program and launched a margarita into space for Jose Cuervo last year’s National Margarita Day.

Ackley joins Y&R from sister agency Geometery Global, where he served as experience director for a little over two years. That followed more than five years with Havas, first as associate director, creative technology and then director of creative technology. Over the course of his career, he’s worked with brands including Dos Equis, Ritz, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, Volvo, American Express, Nikon and Charles Schwab.