Doe-Anderson Seeks New Chief Creative

Doe-Anderson is looking for a new chief creative officer following the abrupt departure of Jim White after more than five years on the job.

David Wilkins, CEO of the Louisville, Ky.-based independent, declined requests for comment on White’s departure. Dan Burgess, an agency rep, would say only that the agency is “going in a different creative direction.” He declined to explain what that means.

White, 46, joined Doe-Anderson in October 1999 after 19 months as chief creative at Interpublic Group’s Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis. He left the agency in late March. Reached at home, he declined to detail the circumstances of his departure, but indicated clearly that it was not his choice. “I was as shocked as everybody else,” White said. “I had no idea.”

White, 46, said he plans to remain in Louisville and open his own agency within a month. “I truly think the best thing to do is to start from scratch,” White said. “I think we can build a great agency here.”

White was also vice chairman at Doe-Anderson and had stock in the agency, but his shares were bought back by management when he left, Burgess said.

There are no internal candidates for White’s job, Burgess said. Doe-Anderson’s creative department is being managed by two group creative directors whom Burgess declined to name.

An art director by training who had been chief creative at IPG’s Long Haymes Carr in Winston-Salem, N.C., before joining Campbell Mithun, White had also worked at Doe-Anderson in the early 1980s. As CCO of the agency, he scored an early success when he helped the agency pick up former LHC client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, a $35 million account, in March 2000. That business, however, was gone in less than a year when the client shifted to a multiple-agency structure.

Doe-Anderson’s clients include Maker’s Mark Distillery, Hillerich & Bradsby and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. The shop claimed $110 million billings in 2003.