FCB’s Angelos Moves to D’Arcy

Peter Angelos has worked at top-tier creative shops. Both he and his new bosses agree that D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, which he has joined as executive creative director for North America, isn’t one of them.

Angelos joins New York-based D’Arcy from FCB, San Francisco. He will remain in the Bay Area and travel to wherever he is needed to help with the work.

Adding creatives like Angelos and Gary Topolewski, who earlier signed on to run creative at D’Arcy Detroit, is part of a concerted effort to raise the level of the work.

“We need to get dramatically better in the key area of our own product,” acknowledged D’Arcy North America president Patrick Sherwood. “We need people who are interested in building something.”

Angelos has spent most of his career at FCB and is most famously associated with the agency’s work for Levi’s. In 1998, he helped open TBWA\Chiat\Day’s San Francisco office and was named creative director. He worked on Levi’s there, and on accounts including Pets.com. He also spent time as a creative director at Young & Rubicam in San Francisco.

Before joining D’Arcy, he said he declined an offer to come to New York to help defend FCB’s AT&T Wireless business.

Although Angelos will be D’Arcy’s top North American creative executive, regional creative chiefs will not report to him, and he will not directly oversee work agencywide. His role as a roaming resource will first take him to Troy, Mich., for a Pontiac campaign.

“We are not creating direct reporting relationships between creative directors and Peter,” Sherwood said. “My experience is when you have these wandering creative people, they wind up without a role. It just builds in bureaucracy.”

D’Arcy’s reputation for creative stodginess stems in part from its client list, weighted by the likes of General Motors and Procter & Gamble. Angelos cited GM, and specifically Cadillac, which D’Arcy handles, as a prime area for change.

“I have the luxury of not having sat through years of [Cadillac] meetings,” Angelos said. “It got too intellectual. It needs to be a lot more visceral.”

Sherwood said D’Arcy’s search goes on for a worldwide creative director, a position that has been vacant for more than a year since John Nieman left.

Angelos would report to that position once it is filled.

D’Arcy is an agency network within Chicago-based Bcom3.