Creative Team Follows Ferguson to Temerlin

Jim Ferguson’s first creative hires since taking over as Temerlin McClain’s chairman and chief creative officer last month are the team he tapped eight years ago—when he was at DDB in Dallas and they were fresh out of college.

Ferguson, who started Oct. 6 at the Interpublic Group shop, met with copywriter Wade Alger and art director Jay Russell in early August while the two were associate creative directors at independent Square One in Dallas. At the time, Ferguson was an evp and creative consultant at Omnicom Group’s DDB in Chicago, but was weighing an offer from Temerlin in Irving, Texas.

“I trained them, and they know how to do things,” Ferguson said. “They understand what I’m looking for.”

Their reel includes a Square One spot for Miller Brewing’s Icehouse that spoofs expensive beer commercials via a homemade-style ad starring a nude man on a bicycle, and Urban Home spots that won best of show at last year’s Dallas Addys.

Alger, 32, and Russell, 30, have started at the $470 million shop without titles, serving as “floating” creatives and showing work directly to Ferguson and group heads for accounts such as the $150 million Subaru business.

“It wasn’t a decision,” Russell said of agreeing to join Ferguson. “It’s like when your dad calls you to work on the farm.”

The pair—who met the former DDB Dallas CCO while students at Southern Methodist University—followed Ferguson from DDB to WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam in New York, which he joined as CCO in 1999. They worked for Y&R out of Dallas, but tired of the weekly trip to New York and joined Square One in 2000.