Arnold Taps D’Arcy’s Bud Boys

Mike Smith and Dave Swaine, the creatives behind the first Budweiser “Frogs” spot, have joined Arnold’s St. Louis office in the latest of a series of sweeping moves by the Havas network to upgrade its creative product in North America.

The goal is to create “a nimble, highly creative network” of agencies with similar philosophies, said Ron Lawner, Arnold’s chief creative officer.

Smith, 34, and Swaine, 40, join as vps and associate creative directors. They become the second tier of creative management under cd Mark Ray. Their longtime employer, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in St. Louis, closed in March after years of client losses.

The new hires created the Bud wei ser frogs in a 1994 spot, in which the amphibians croaked, “Bud-wei-ser” in succession. They won a silver Lion at Cannes for the effort. Also at D’Arcy, Smith and Swaine worked on the “Rainbow Rain” campaign for M&M/Mars’ Skittles.

The duo’s first assignment for Arnold: Develop ads to launch Jack Daniel’s Original Hard Cola from Jack Daniel’s and Miller Brewing Co.

Swaine said the chance to work for a worldwide agency and well-known clients convinced the two to sign on. “It was the whole notion of working for one of the world’s most respected brands [at Arnold],” he said.

Separately, cds Bruce Gifford and Fred Burgos last week were tapped to manage creative at Arnold’s office in McLean, Va., following the resignation of evp/chief creative officer Matt Smith, who leaves on July 1 to open a shop in Washington. Gifford and Burgos transferred from Ar nold’s Boston headquarters last year.

Stu Cooperrider, who oversaw award-winning efforts for the Massa chusetts Office of Public Health Tobacco Control Program, moved to Arnold, San Francisco, in February; former Leo Burnett executives Tim Kavander and Bill Newbery joined Arnold in Toronto as svps/co-cds two weeks ago. In New York, Ro chelle Klein remains chief creative at Arnold McGrath.

In 2001, the network saw billings drop 3 percent to $3.4 billion. It suffered spending cuts by several clients, such as EMC, and some client losses—hits new-business gains couldn’t offset. The desire to have seasoned creative managers in place to attract and retain national accounts at regional offices is a driving force behind the cd shifts, sources said.