Digitas Elevates Beeching

NEW YORK Digitas has promoted its New York ecd Mark Beeching to global executive creative director. Separately, Gregory Johnson, Digitas global head of marketing agency services, is leaving at the end of the month, a company representative confirmed.

In the top creative post, Beeching will lead the executive creative directors in the shop’s five offices and continue to work closely with clients, such as American Express, America Online and The New York Times. Joe McCambley, who left for an svp position at Dulles, Va.-based AOL in May 2003, was the last person to hold a similar role, that of global chief creative officer. After he left, his duties were split among five senior creative directors, including Beeching.

Beeching, 43, said he plans to “set the overall creative direction … as we shift from an old-fashioned, outmoded push-marketing model to harnessing the pull of these powerful customers. There’s a lot more work to be done to help us unlearn, frankly, a lot of push-marketing habits and succeed [using] a customer-driven approach to brand building and marketing in general.”

He will report to Digitas president Laura Lang, who relocated from New York to the agency’s Boston headquarters following her promotion in June. Beeching, who will remain in New York, is currently considering a handful of internal and external candidates to assume his ecd responsibilities.

Beeching returned to Digitas in January 2003, after a 15-month hiatus working at a consumer-insight company he co-founded. During his first tour of duty, which began in November 1999, he was ecd, Europe, based in the London outpost. Previously, he spent a year as ecd at Circle.com in London and before that, he was global ecd at EHS Brann, also London, since the mid-’90s.

Separately, Johnson is exiting at the end of the month to pursue personal interests and spend more time with his family, a company representative said. Since joining Digitas in 1998, Johnson has held a variety of roles including head of global client delivery and worldwide creative director. His position will not be filled, since the marketing-services and creative functions now report up to Lang, the rep said.