BBDO West Names ECD

LOS ANGELES Jon Soto has been named executive creative director at Omnicom Group’s BBDO West. The former creative director at Publicis & Hal Riney and Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners will join evp, ecd Jim Lesser in leading creative in San Francisco.

“Jon is really going to be my partner, which will give us twice as much creative firepower at the top level, which is great on all fronts,” said Lesser, who splits his time between BBDO’s office here and in San Francisco. “I’ve known him for 10 years and always wanted to work with him. He’s one of the really great talents in our business and a great guy.”

Among the campaigns Lesser admired in Soto’s past, which includes stints at independent Mad Dogs & Englishmen, New York, and Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day, San Francisco, is Soto’s work at Goodby on the 1998 Cannes Grand Prix winning spot in Nike’s skateboarding campaign and later work for Emerald Nuts.

Lesser said the nuts and bolts of how the two would partner together had not been determined, including if they would divide the agency’s accounts, which include Mitsubishi Motors North America and the California State Lottery, or collaborate on all clients. “We’ll work together to feel our way through it,” Lesser said. “The one thing we can say now is that Jon will focus on the San Francisco office.”

Soto, 46, who started last week, said he was “excited. I feel I’m making a good decision as to what I want to do right now in this business.” He said his goal was to continue to instill his personality into his creative process. “I’ve always looked at my work as close to my personality, and even looking back I don’t feel estranged from it,” he said.