Arnold Names Staffen Executive CD

NEW YORK Arnold has hired DDB veteran John Staffen as executive creative director, an executive with the Havas agency confirmed.

Staffen, 43, who left Omnicom Group’s DDB in October, will steer the 50-person creative department of the New York outpost, which handles accounts like GlaxoSmithKline, Bermuda Tourism and Hasbro. He will work closely with Mary Baglivo, president of Arnold New York, and ultimately report to Arnold chairman and chief creative officer Ron Lawner, who is based in Boston.

The former co-executive creative director of DDB’s New York office replaces Arnold vice chairman, chief creative officer Rochelle Klein, who left in November after three years over what she described as “differences in creative vision.”

“We felt that [John] having been successful in some of the toughest, most challenging categories was important because we have a wide range of categories,” said Baglivo, citing his experience on clients like the New York Lottery, McDonald’s and Hershey Foods. Staffen spent a total of 18 years at DDB during a number of stints, starting in 1984.

Arnold is also hoping Staffen, who starts today, will help reel in new business. In 2003, the New York shop, which is currently defending Welch Foods, advanced to the finals of pitches for Travelocity, Andrew Jergens and three Pfizer drugs, but failed to convert.

“I feel like we went to the playoffs [last year] in new business, getting into the finals of as many high-profile pitches as we did and obviously the challenge is, but you didn’t win,” said Baglivo. “To me, that’s where John’s going to contribute in a big way. Obviously what this agency needs to do is nail the new business. We’ve come a long way. But, I’m hoping with John’s passion and his creativity, we’ll be able to win a few big ones.”