Burnett Enlists Goodby Team

CHICAGO — The Goodby, Silverstein & Partners team whose work includes a 1999 Super Bowl spot for Cracker Jack and eloquent print and TV ads for Nike that feature Lance Armstrong is joining Leo Burnett.

Josh Denberg and Paul Hirsch, both 35, will be evps and creative directors at the Chicago shop, where they will work on the agency’s full portfolio of brands, deputy chief creative officer Mark Tutssel said. They were associate creative directors at Goodby.

The duo’s specific assignments have not yet been determined, Tutssel said. They will report directly to Tutssel and chief creative officer Cheryl Berman.

Denberg and Hirsch both grew up in the Chicago area and have been talking with Burnett for about a year. The pair said they buy into Tutssel, Berman and president Bob Brennan’s plans to move the shop into the top tier creatively.

“They’ve done smart work for clients — it’s just conservative,” Denberg said of Burnett, whose clients include Philip Morris and Kellogg’s. “It would be nice to be part of building something great in Chicago.”

Tutssel came to Chicago from Burnett’s London office last November with the task of helping Berman ramp up the creative product. His major hire to date has been Stephanie Crippen, a veteran of Fallon and TBWA\Chiat\Day. Denberg started as a copywriter at the former Ammirati & Puris in New York and Clarity Coverdale Fury in Minneapolis before joining Goodby about eight years ago. Hirsch worked at Cole & Weber in Portland, Ore., and Berlin Wright Cameron in New York before joining Goodby about seven years ago.

Tutssel said he has more top recruits in the pipeline, all of whom he assures will be given maximum freedom to do great work. “I don’t want to bring in great talent and not deliver on that promise,” Tutssel said. “We’re looking at bringing bright, motivated people to the agency and letting them loose.”