Goldsmith Will ‘Do’ and Teach

Starts as chairman of Art Center advertising department next month

Not withstanding Woody Allen's quip about the divide between doing and teaching, Gary Goldsmith aims to do both.

Goldsmith, a former creative leader at Young & Rubicam and Lowe, was named chairman of the advertising department at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. He starts next month.

At the same time, Goldsmith will continue to work on brands such as Celebrity Cruises and espnW under the banner of Underhead, the creative shingle he set up in 2009. Goldsmith’s partner in the New York-based business is Robert Reiser.

Goldsmith lives in New York but will now spend about two weeks a month in Pasadena. As head of the ad department, he’ll shape the curriculum, oversee about 35 professors, teach a bit and help place graduates in advertising.

In his new role, Goldsmith succeeds James Wojtowicz, who served as interim chairman for about two years.

Goldsmith has roots with Art Center, as a 1981 graduate and visiting professor. He has taught a 10-day course called “Crashvertising” for the past three years and will continue to teach that course as chairman.

For Goldsmith, 57, the new role represents an opportunity to immerse himself in creativity and mentoring.

“My career—a big part of it has always been mentoring,” Goldsmith said. “This is a chance to do it again and do it in a place that meant so much to me.”

Goldsmith launched Underhead a year after he left Y&R, where he was chief creative officer for North America. He spent more than 2 years at the WPP shop. 

Before Y&R, Goldsmith was chairman and CCO at Interpublic Group’s Lowe in New York. He came into Lowe via its 1996 acquisition of Goldsmith/Jeffrey, an agency he co-founded with Bob Jeffrey. Jeffrey is now global CEO of JWT.