JWT’s Matt MacDonald Heads to BBDO to Lead AT&T

Deepens the bench on a cornerstone account

JWT New York chief creative officer Matt MacDonald is heading to BBDO to lead creative efforts on the agency's cornerstone AT&T account.

At BBDO, he'll become part of a select group of nine executive creative directors under new New York CCO Greg Hahn. MacDonald, 38, will start in January.

BBDO is lead creative agency on AT&T, a massive marketer that spends upwards of $3 billion in media annually.

The account is shared by BBDO's offices in New York and Atlanta and employs several ecds, including Erik Fahrenkopf and L.P. Tremblay, who work on different pieces of the business. In his new role, MacDonald will oversee creative development on all facets of AT&T.

The business also got a new account management chief this year. In February, the shop hired Publicis' Mark Cadman as managing director of North America with oversight on AT&T.

The MacDonald hire is part of a broader series of personnel moves by David Lubars, BBDO's North American CCO and chairman. Under those moves, ecd Wil Boudreau is transferring from the shop's New York office to Atlanta to steer creative efforts on all non-AT&T business, including Bayer and REI. Also, last month Noel Haan assumed the top creative role in BBDO Proximity in Minneapolis, where Hormel is a top account. As ecd in Minneapolis, Noel—a BBDO come-backer who years ago worked at the shop's Chicago office—succeeded Brian Kroening, who left.

The latest hires and transfer are designed to meet the ever-evolving needs of clients in a "very liquid world," Lubars explained.

"It's essential we continue delivering forward-thinking ideas to help our clients stay ahead of their competitors,” he added. “You accomplish that with the best talent and thinkers." 

MacDonald, who joined JWT as a copywriter in 2003, became co-CCO of the New York office in May 2012—along with Ryan Kutscher—and then sole CCO after Kutscher left earlier this year. His brand experience ranges from Macy's and Smirnoff to JetBlue, Rolex and DeBeers.

JWT is not expected to fill the New York role, given that North American CCO Jeff Benjamin already sits in New York and believes in empowering his ecds—the eight lieutenants who oversee work on multiple brands.

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