Euro’s Kemp Sees ‘Challenge’ At BBDO

Marcus Kemp said his new job as vice chairman and chief creative officer at BBDO in Atlanta “has all the challenges in our industry”—including building a brand with the shop’s largest account (Cingular) following a major acquisition (AT&T Wireless).

“There’s a lot at stake here,” he said, citing the $800 million Cingular account as an example. (The telecom’s recent $41 billion deal with AT&T Wireless has formed the largest cellular network in the U.S.) “This is the best opportunity I’ve seen in our industry in quite awhile.”

The 52-year-old Denver native is leaving his post as a managing director and worldwide creative director at Havas’ Euro RSCG in New York, where he oversees the $300 million Intel account—a business the shop is defending in a review. Kemp, who joins Omnicom Group’s BBDO on Jan. 3, declined to discuss the review.

BBDO has been seeking a top creative for several months to take over lead creative duties from Bill Pauls, who remains at the shop as evp and executive creative director, said Chris Hall, CEO and president.

“We wanted to add creative firepower at the senior level,” Hall said. “We took our time because it wasn’t a crisis situation.”

An art director with a degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Kemp also brings his experience working on MCI/WorldCom at Euro to BBDO, which shares its Cingular account with its New York office. (Senior ecd Charlie Miesmer oversees creative there.) Kemp will report to Hall and David Lubars, chairman and CCO for BBDO North America.

“Our intent is to be aggressive,” Kemp said. “We want the Atlanta office to be the strongest agency in the Southeast.”