Ferguson Joins Y&R

Jim Ferguson, chief creative officer at DDB Needham in Dallas and a former top creative for McDonald’s at Needham and Leo Burnett in Chicago, has accepted the post of president, chief creative officer at Young & Rubicam, New York.
“Life is an adventure. I might as well live another adventure,” Ferguson said. “Hopefully this is my last job. Ten, 12 good years–I would really enjoy that.”
Selected by Y&R worldwide creative director Ted Bell –a friend and former colleague–and New York chief executive Peter Stringham, Ferguson fills a five-year void. Y&R’s last creative chief in New York, Helayne Spivak, left in November 1993.
Since then, Bell has handled global and New York duties and had approached several people about the job. Among them were Lee Garfinkel of Lowe & Partners/SMS and Steve Hayden of TBWA/Chiat/Day (now at Ogilvy & Mather).
Ferguson’s mission at Y&R, where in the past year billings have grown 32 percent, is to “continue the momentum we’ve got,” Bell said. “Also, I want him to raise the bar. I want to be the most creative big agency.”
During his 16-year career, Ferguson, a copywriter and former sportswriter, has created ads for McDonald’s (“Nothing but Net,” “Pee-Wee Football”), the U.S. Department of Transportation (“Safety Belt Dummies”) and Tabasco (“Mosquito”). The latter won a Gold Lion at Cannes in 1997.
Ferguson’s friendship with Bell dates to 1984, when both worked at Burnett. Ferguson left in 1995 and two years later was part of the Needham team that reclaimed McDonald’s $600 million account from Burnett.