Freeman Staffs Up

Cliff Freeman and Part ners has hired 12 people to “refresh” its creative product and help with new business, compensating for earlier layoffs, the agency said.

Five creatives, five account managers and two planners were brought in and assigned to existing accounts and the esti mated $70 million in new business the shop has won in the past six months—the combined $60 million Value City and DSW Shoe Warehouse business, along with insurance coop Working Today ($3-5 million). The shop also won Ben & Jerry’s ($5 million), which already has a dedicated team.

“All this new business has enabled us to make these hires,” said shop principal Cliff Freeman.

The most senior creative hire is associate creative director Ari Mer kin. He moves from Crispin Porter + Bogus ky in Miami, where he worked on the Mini Cooper and Truth campaigns. He is assigned to the $15 million Mike’s Hard Lemonade business; the client’s outrageous campaign features alien abductions and a man with a second head.

“Ari wanted to work here five years ago,” but there were no openings, said Freeman. “Later, I’d see him running up on stages accepting awards and I’d think, ‘Why didn’t I hire that guy?’ “

The team of Tommy Noo nan, an art director, and copywriter Laura Potsic joined from Ogilvy & Mather in New York. They are helping to pitch the $10-15 million SuperCuts account with Jeffrey Kenyon, a senior account planner from Merkley Newman Harty & Partners in New York. Kenyon also works on Quizno’s and Midas.

The shop also hired Grant Wagner as group account director on Mohegan Sun and Quiznos, and Peter McCullum as account supervisor on Value City.