Agency Hopes New Faces Will Stabilize Department
NEW YORK-Ammirati Puris Lintas has bolstered the senior ranks of its creative department in recent weeks, naming four new group heads. The hires are the first big moves made by Roger Bentley and Rob Feakins, the pair which took over the department in October, and the first since the promotion of James Allman to chairman in April.
The hires include new creative heads on some of the agency’s key accounts, including Burger King, GMC and Iridium, and are meant to finally stabilize APL’s rather fluid creative department.
Two senior creative exits in the last year created openings on Burger King and GMC and forced the agency to shift executives to different roles. And the elevation of Feakins and Bentley left openings on their accounts.
“We were looking for good creative talents and good leaders,” Feakins said. “We’ve been hiring steadily at the lower levels of the department for months, but it’s hard to hire when you don’t have your group heads in place.”
David Lowe is now executive vice president, managing director on the Burger King account, a position that had been vacant since the April departure of Jonathan Mandell. Lowe comes from DDB, New York, where most recently he worked on McDonald’s.
The agency has also hired Lance Paull as an executive vice president, managing director to pair with group head Pat Hanlon on Iridium and Goldman Sachs, among others. Paull comes from Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG. Hanlon had been on the GMC account.
Taking over on GMC is Ken Wieden, who leaves a job as creative director at Merkley Newman Harty. Before joining MNH last year, Wieden served as lead creative at Hal Riney & Partners on General Motors’ Saturn business.
APL also promoted Robert Rieser, who is credited with helping win the $90 million Dell small business account last month. Rieser will serve as executive vice president, managing director on Dell, along with senior creative director Beth Kosuk.
“We’re really looking to get the best brains per inch in the agency, and this is the first wave toward doing that,” said Allman. “Hiring the creatives were the real priority.” The agency is also looking to fill vacancies in its account services and planning departments.
Two senior creative teams, working on Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, United Parcel Service and Labatt’s, remain unchanged.
Lowe, who initially will work without a partner, is overseeing the five or six junior teams that work on Burger King. His first task: develop ads to coincide with Burger King’s new-look stores.