JWT Taps Creative Exec for Europe, Latin America

NEW YORK JWT worldwide CEO Bob Jeffrey has recruited Lowe’s Fernando Vega Olmos to lead creative efforts in most of Europe and Latin America.

Vega Olmos, 50, will take the title of creative chairman of Continental Europe and Latin America and work closely with the business leaders of Europe, Latin America and Brazil, JWT said. He will report to Jeffrey.

“Fernando Vega Olmos is widely regarded as Argentina’s most revered creative and we are thrilled to welcome him,” said Jeffrey. “He’s a big talent, he has a big reputation and he’s going to add a lot to JWT.”

Vega Olmos is known for his award-winning work for Unilever, a top client of Interpublic Group’s Lowe, as well as WPP Group’s JWT. He has been worldwide creative director on Unilever since 2004 and chairman of Lowe Latina in Spain since last year.

At Lowe, he was based in Madrid, and at JWT, he will split his time between offices in Madrid and Buenos Aires, Argentina. He’ll start in January.

The hire comes three months after news surfaced that JWT worldwide chief creative officer Craig Davis planned to leave the shop and return to his native Australia.

Davis, who’s based at the agency’s London office, is expected to exit early next year. But rather than fill the global post, Jeffrey is focused on upgrading regional creative capabilities. Vega Olmos is an example of that.

“There is no search for new Craig Davis,” Jeffrey said. “My goal is to create bench strength at the regional level.”

Lowe worldwide CEO Stephen Gatfield acknowledged the loss, but added that the agency has a bevy of talented senior creatives who work on Unilever. Vega Olmos focused on Lowe’s personal care and ice cream brands while others concentrate on foods and household care brands. “It has always been an ensemble performance,” Gatfield said.