Johnson Group Hires Fazende

The Johnson Group has added Mike Fazende as executive creative director, a new post.

Fazende’s résumé includes stints at Publicis and The Richards Group, both in Dallas, Fallon in Minneapolis and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco.

Eager to position his Chattanooga, Tenn., shop as a creative agency, TJG president Joe Johnson hired former Martin Agency partner and chief executive officer Harry Jacobs to conduct the search.

“Finding and hiring a major creative talent is never easy, but in this case the match made a great deal of sense,” said Jacobs. “Both Mike and The Johnson Group have similar views about what’s involved in creating great work. Their goal of positioning the agency as a major player is identical.”

Fazende, 45, cites Jacobs as a factor in his decision. “He sees TJG as an agency hungry to move up,” Fazende said. “They looked at the work they’ve produced and admitted they need to get better if they want to be recognized by their peers.

“I feel a responsibility to do advertising that doesn’t insult people’s intelligence,” he said.

At his previous agency stops, Fazende has worked on accounts such as American Airlines, Mercedes-Benz, Lee Jeans and Federal Express.