Buder Engel’s Pfeifer Moves to Venables, Bell

SAN FRANCISCO Independent Venables, Bell & Partners has hired art director Erich Pfeifer from a stint at Buder Engel & Friends, where he was associate creative director on Dr. Martens.

“We’ve been dying to work with Erich for a long time,” said Paul Venables, founder and co-creative director at VB&P in San Francisco. “He’s the consummate professional, he’s talented and he could be the nicest guy in advertising. So he fits in with our plan.”

Venables said Pfeifer’s major contribution to San Francisco advertising was helping EA Sports increase sales while he was associate creative director at Odiorne, Wilde, Narraway & Partners from 1996 to 2001. Pfeifer, 37, was also an associate creative director at Leagas Delaney, where he worked on Virgin Mobile and created the “Life begins at 8,000 feet” campaign for NorthStar at Tahoe.

“Although Erich has been an acd at other places for years, we have a flat creative department structure so he’ll simply be an art director,” Venables said. “But he’ll be performing at an acd level, which means he’ll have a hand in helping to run the businesses he works on. For starters, he’ll work on Barclays Global Investors and the Arby’s pitch, and HBO is probably in his future.”

“Bringing Erich Pfeifer on indicates the caliber of talent we’re going after,” said Greg Bell, founder and co-creative director. “Our creative department just gets stronger and stronger. It scares even me.”

VB&P is hiring on many levels in several departments, citing growth from existing business as a primary reason.

“Award season was good to us,” Venables added. “The phone has been ringing.”