Jacobs Begins Second Stint at Martin

ATLANTA Chris Jacobs has returned to The Martin Agency as a group creative director. Or so he thinks.

Actually, Mike Hughes, president and creative director at the Interpublic Group shop, is not quite sure how Jacobs will fit. He just knows he wants him back in Richmond, Va.

So Jacobs, 35, has left Atlanta’s Cole Henderson Drake after four years as vice president and executive creative director to work for his former boss.

Jacobs spent two years at IPG’s Austin Kelley in Atlanta and New York’s Hampel/Stefanides before joining Martin the first time in 1995. That term lasted three years.

A copywriter, Jacobs has worked on Alltel, the Virginia Holocaust Museum and London Bay Homes.

“I’m not that eager to leave Atlanta,” said Jacobs. “But it was just great to do something different and do it on a big scale.”

Hughes, who oversees some 40 copywriters and art directors, said a handful of new accounts won in 2003 and industry changes caused him to rethink his department’s organizational structure.

“I’ve never aspired to have a traditional group system,” he said. “We’ll re-structure for the growth we’ve had.”

Reporting directly to Hughes are Hal Tench, partner and creative director; Kerry Feuerman, partner, vice chairman and group creative director; and Steve Bassett, senior vice president and group creative director at the $400 million agency.

Because Hughes prefers a “pretty flat structure,” associate creative directors Joe Alexander, Cliff Sorah and Rob Schapiro also report directly to him. Jacobs, who starts work this week, will as well. It is likely, Hughes said, that titles would have to change.

“He’s remarkably mature for someone his age,” Hughes said about Jacobs. “He’ll bring to the job an understanding of real world problems, but still has the enthusiasm to make the work that comes out fresh.”

Hughes said he would likely develop a department where creative teams work in more disciplines and are not “condemned to certain rosters of accounts.”

“Once upon a time what clients wanted were specific teams put together to do a TV commercial. Now they want people who can think in broader terms,” Hughes said.

Mike Tyre, president of CHD, said he is looking to replace Jacobs.