David Carson Joins Ogilvy N.Y. as ECD

Heavy.com’s David Carson is leaving the entertainment Web site he co-founded in 1999 to join Ogilvy & Mather in New York as one of two new executive creative directors brought in by chief creative officer Lars Bastholm. The other incoming ecd is Alison Gragnano, previously global creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi on General Mills and Procter & Gamble brands.

Carson will partner with ecd Chris Mitton on clients including American Express, Ikea and Stoli, while Gragnano will lead creative on Unilever and Kimberly-Clark.

“Both Alison and David bring an infusion of new creative thinking to our leadership team as well as portfolios that overflow with award-winning work across clients and categories,” said Bastholm. “They are terrific additions to Ogilvy and will add greatly to our work for clients.”

Ogilvy’s senior creative additions follow BBDO’s announcement yesterday that the Omnicom agency has recruited two ecds from the agency. Tom Godici and Greg Ketchum, who launched IBM’s “Smarter Planet” campaign in 2008, have been named ecds of BBDO in New York.

The move to Ogilvy marks a return to the agency for Carson, who was a cd there in the late ’90s and was part of the creative team that worked on IBM’s e-business campaign. In addition to co-founding Heavy, a male-targeted entertainment site, Carson also created the animated series Behind the Music That Sucks and helped launch the music network Fuse.

“I’m pretty excited to join Ogilvy at a time when emerging media has gone mass,” said Carson. “A-list brands are chomping at the bit to leverage new channels of communication. It’s an enormous opportunity.”

Gragnano worked on global brands at Saatchi for the past four years and was part of the team that created Crest’s “You can say anything with a smile” campaign that won a gold Lion at Cannes two years ago.

“It feels great to be joining at this moment in time when everything is poised to achieve a whole new level of creativity for clients,” said Gragnano.

Carson and Gragnano are the latest additions to Ogilvy New York’s creative department, which has eight ecds reporting to Barstholm. The agency has also recently staffed up its IBM creative team. Jason Marks, previously at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, working on Microsoft and Burger King, was named group cd on the account. Howard Pyle was hired as global director of digital platforms from TBWA, and Pierre Wendling, previously at 180 Amsterdam, was named executive producer.

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