Burnett Seeks New London ECD as Bell Heads to JWT

NEW YORK Leo Burnett London will look locally for a successor to executive creative director Nick Bell, who is leaving to take the top creative post at the London office of J. Walter Thompson.

In the meantime, LB London creative directors Mike McKenna and Greg Martin – both agency veterans – will take over management of the shop, according to an agency representative. The agency has no timetable for a replacement, but the representative said the search was “a priority.”

JWT confirmed the Bell hire this week. He joins his new shop in May, succeeding Jaspar Shelbourne, who will remain in London but in a different role, as a worldwide creative director. About a dozen network creatives hold that title.

Bell, 42, has been at Publicis Groupe’s Burnett since 1995. He became ecd in 1999 and since then, the London agency has won three gold Lions and four silver Lions at Cannes.

At WPP Group’s JWT, Bell will take the title of ecd and report to Simon Bolton, who is CEO of both the office and JWT U.K.