Grey West ECD Exits

LOS ANGELES Roger Bentley, executive creative director at WPP Group’s Grey West, has parted ways with the agency, the shop confirmed.

Bentley, who’d worked on brands such as GMC at the former Ammirati Puris and Mercedes-Benz at Omnicom’s Merkley + Partners, had come to the San Francisco office of Grey from Merkley, New York, where he was a creative director under ECDs Andy Hirsch and Randy Saitta.

Bentley declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding his departure, but said he is currently interviewing at shops in New York.

“There is some great stuff going on here in San Francisco, and I’d like to think that I was part of that, at least for a moment,” Bentley said. “But New York is calling and that’s my home.”

In February 2006, the San Francisco shop inherited the regional BMW business when it became consolidated as Grey West under managing director Betsy Sperry and the Los Angeles office was effectively closed.

Then-ecd Bob Merlotti left the agency, leaving the shop shy of broadcast experience, and Melissa Webber was named ecd at Grey West, Los Angeles, when the remainders of Grey L.A. were shifted to what had been Grey Direct. Bentley joined shortly thereafter.

The move leaves Webber as Grey’s highest-ranking creative. Webber declined comment.

In April, Bentley helped Grey win its first television work for BMW since the departure of Merlotti, a three-spot package, coming out of a shootout with BMW’s lead shop, Omnicom’s GSD&M Idea City, Austin, Texas, and roster shop Publicis Groupe’s Publicis in Dallas.

Bentley’s spot for the 3 Series coupe, via director Brent Jones of Aero Film, Santa Monica, Calif., showed a fashionable woman arriving at home with new high heels, then cutting off the right heel to make it better at slamming the BMW gas pedal and peeling out.