Former Fallon Exec Goes South

When David Damman was introduced to the advertising business in a design class at Pratt Institute in New York, he lost interest in everything else.

“It was like the stadium lights coming on,” said Damman, who started at WestWayne as senior vice president and creative director in August.

After that one class, he quit school, hired an instructor to help him put together a portfolio, moved to Minneapolis and asked the shop he admired most, Fallon, for a job.

He still has the rejection letter. And he collected several more during his six-year quest to land a job at the agency, all the while working for several other shops in the area.

Reared on a horse farm in southern Wisconsin, Damman had planned to study art at the University of Wisconsin, but “got sidetracked” by a psychology class. He received a degree in the subject and moved to New York, working as a salesman for a food broker. One day, while riding his bike through the city, he had an epiphany.

“I had to go back to art school,” he said. That led him to Pratt and advertising.

Damman finally achieved his goal of joining Fallon in 1999, rising through the ranks from art director to creative director. He never thought he would work anywhere else. “There’s no real reason to leave Fallon,” he said.

Yet Damman, 39, found a reason in Bobby Pearce, a copywriter he worked with at Fallon (and previously at Carmichael Lynch) who joined Atlanta’s WestWayne as executive creative director last year.

“He’s the person I made a connection with in this industry,” said Damman. “I wanted to work with him again.”

Pearce convinced him that WestWayne offered a variety of clients and an experienced management team to work with, he said.

“It wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s a locker room you want to be in,” Damman said.