Deutsch Promotes Bryce, Musto

At a time when Deutsch is basking in the glow of its acquisition by the Interpublic Group, the shop’s fast-growing Southern California office has “deputized” two members of its creative team.

In keeping with its commitment to cultivating and retaining talent, Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif., elevated senior art director Mike Bryce and senior copywriter Mark Musto both to associate creative director. Although the promotions are unrelated to the acquisition (see National News, page 68), the stellar performance of the 5-year-old office just outside L.A. has helped burnish the New York-based agency’s image as a rising star nationwide.

“The bottom line is we have reached a size where we need to be deputizing great people. That’s the way agencies grow,” said Eric Hirsh berg, executive vice president and executive creative director. “The best way to preserve our culture is to promote from within. Five of our six ACDs have been promoted to the position, which I think says a lot.”

While the move to elevate Bryce and Musto was somewhat overshadowed last week by the acquisition, there are strong indications that it will be business as usual under the new ownership. Agency chairman and CEO Donny Deutsch said no major changes await Deutsch/LA in the wake of the sale. He praised the work of Hirshberg and executive vice president and general manager Mike Sheldon.

“This thing is a home run,” Deutsch said of the L.A. shop. “Mike and Eric have done a great job, taking that office from nothing to a $600 million operation.”

He added that the performance of the Deutsch executive team as a whole was a main reason the 31-year old agency was acquired in a deal valued at $250-300 million. “IPG bought the management of the company, which includes the guys on the West Coast,” he said.

Bryce, who joined the Marina del Rey operation in 1997, quickly gained respect for his work on the Mitsubishi Galant campaign and then on the DirecTV “Installer” work, said Hirshberg. Musto, meanwhile, started out in the New York headquarters in 1994 and moved to L.A. in 1998. He made his mark on SunAmerica, L.A. Cellular, DirecTV and Mitsubishi.

“It’s been an amazing, amazing ride,” said Musto. “When I started at Deutsch in New York, there were 120 people. Now there are 500, and 280 in L.A. … It’s just been a phenomenal growth story.”