Graf Confirms Move to Saatchi

NEW YORK TBWA\Chiat\Day New York executive creative director Gerry Graf has resigned to become chief creative officer of Saatchi & Saatchi’s headquarters here, Graf confirmed on Tuesday.

At Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi, Graf will succeed Tony Granger, who in November resigned to become worldwide creative director at WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam in New York.

To Graf, Saatchi represented a “bigger proposition but still a place that’s committed to doing great work.” Also, he said he was impressed by the shop’s “pretty incredible” portfolio of major brands from clients such as Procter & Gamble, General Mills, Wendy’s and JC Penney. Saatchi had no immediate comment.

Graf, 41, has been at Omnicom Group’s TBWA\C\D since December 2003. On his watch, the New York office’s reel has improved markedly, with the creative department producing quirky, irreverent work for Mars brands such as Skittles, Combos and Snickers.

“Gerry has done great work for us and we really appreciate it,” TBWA worldwide CEO Tom Carroll said. “We wish him well.”

Regarding TBWA\C\D, Graf said, “It has given me as much as I’ve given it,” adding, “I’m leaving it better off and it’s leaving me better off.”

Since Granger’s resignation, he has continued to work at Saatchi because he has a one-year notice period in his contact and Saatchi worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts had held him to that clause. It was not immediately clear if Saatchi would now release Granger, given that the agency has filled his post.

This story updates an earlier item with Graf’s confirmation and quotes.