DDB Seattle Taps Hammerquist

In a bid to shore up its creative bona fides, DDB Seattle has chosen Fred Hammer quist to take the reigns as creative director beginning Feb. 1.

A 20-year veteran of the business, Hammer quist, 45, co-owned an agency in Seattle for nearly a decade and most recently served as the top creative officer at FCB Worldwide there.

At DDB, he will oversee accounts including regional McDonald’s franchises, cruse line Holland America, backpack maker JanSport and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper. He will also lure new business and recruit talent at an agency that claimed about $185 million in billings last year.

“I ran into him one day. One thing led to another and I guess he just grew on me,” DDB managing partner Jan Edmonson said. “I think this really sends a message that we are committed to the creative end.”

For his part, Hammerquist said DDB has a strong commitment to account service and a solid roster of accounts. Still, he said the shop could use a little nudge forward in the creative department.

“They are on that threshold,” he said. “This has been a service-driven shop. I thing they want to enhance their reputation creatively.”

Hammerquist began his career on the client side in 1978 as advertising manager for Dynastar Ski Co. He moved to ad agency Sharp Hartwig, and then to the Seattle office of Cole & Weber, working as a senior art director on such accounts as Weyerhaeuser, Nike and Helly-Hansen.

After co-founding Hammerquist & Saffel (later Hammer quist & Hal verson), he worked on such accounts as The North Face, K2 Skis, Sims Sports, Callaway Golf and Giant Bicycles. At FCB, which acquired his shop, he oversaw creative for clients such as Boeing Space & Communications, Aptimus, Tegic Communications, Precor and Diadora.

Hammerquist is the fourth executive appointment DDB has made in the past year. John Kerr, a colleague of Hammerquist’s at FCB, was recently named director of account planning. Tom Phillips and Scott Janzen joined in public relations posts.