Fallon Imports ECD

CHICAGO Publicis Groupe’s Fallon has hired StrawberryFrog ecd Al Kelly to fill a similar role in its Minneapolis office.

The shop last month promoted Todd Riddle to cd, filling a post held by the departed Kerry Feuerman. Kelly said he and Riddle would probably divide leadership duties, but details haven’t been worked out.

“Al has an impressive legacy of media agnostic work. His extreme fluency in the digital world makes him particularly well suited for this key position,” said agency chairman Pat Fallon, in a statement. “But the thing that put it over the top for us was the reputation Al earned from his peers at every stop along the way. He is respected, well liked, and consistently inspires others to new levels of excellence.”

Kelly said his first order of business would be to get to know the current clients and staff, then making some new hires and focusing on new business.

Kelly has been with StrawberryFrog’s Amsterdam, the Netherlands, office since 2005, working on clients such as Heineken and Barilla Pasta, among others. Prior to that, he served at Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, working as gcd on accounts such as Comcast, Hewlett-Packard, Nike and Saturn.

“I had a good run and we turned around some business,” he said, noting that family issues played a role in his decision to return to the states.

StrawberryFrog co-ecd Mark Chalmers said he would leave in late summer, and Kelly was initially expected to assume his duties. (The independent agency recently installed former Wieden + Kennedy creative Michael Folino as interim ecd.)

Fallon has hit a rough patch over the past two years, losing several key clients (such as the $150 million Citi and $80 million BMW accounts), as well as absorbing turnover in the top ranks of its creative department. Despite that, Kelly said the place was showing “the energy of a startup,” but with a history of doing great work.

“I think Fallon is facing a lot of the same challenges as the rest of the industry,” Kelly said. “They’ve led the way in interactive and new media in the past and it’s time to get back in that area.”