KB+P’s Feakins Joins Publicis

NEW YORK Rounding out the creative leadership in its major U.S. offices, Publicis USA said it has tapped Rob Feakins as president, chief creative officer for its operations here.

Feakins, 49, will start in the newly created position after Labor Day. He joins from MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners in New York, which he joined in January 2001, rising to his most recent position, executive creative director and vice chairman.

Feakins will report to Publicis USA chief creative officer Bob Moore, who splits his time between New York and the network’s Seattle office, and Publicis USA CEO Susan Gianinno, who is based here.

Moore last month tapped Eric Cosper and Simeon Roane to move here from Publicis in Seattle as executive creative directors, serving alongside David Corr [Adweek Online, July 28]. Cosper and Roane are working on Whirlpool, one of the New York agency’s largest clients, Coke’s Vault brand and Heineken, which is currently in review.

Moore said hiring Feakins “is necessary for the creative growth of the New York office and Publicis overall. It’ll bring all the creative departments, including Publicis Dialog, under one leader.”

Feakins’ counterparts in other Publicis offices are Shon Rathbone in Dallas, Ted Barton in San Francisco, John Bellina in Salt Lake City and Rob Rich in Seattle. Publicis Dialog in Los Angeles reports through the San Francisco office.

“It seemed to me like Simeon and Eric and David are so consumed with the day-to-day of making the work great that they needed more air cover and support,” Moore added, referring to the Feakins move. “They need a co-visionary who will work with me to determine the creative footprint of Publicis.”

In his new role, Feakins will oversee some 150 creatives and partner with shop CEO Gill Duff and Publicis Dialog CEO Debbie Yount. Major clients include L’Oreal, Pernod Ricard, Procter & Gamble, UBS and Sanofi-Aventis. Publicis New York is also a BMW roster shop.

“I’ve been interested in Rob for New York for a long time,” said Gianinno. “People love to work with him. He’s a great collaborator and can get the best work out of people.”

One of his immediate challenges is to help better define the Publicis brand in the marketplace. “He’ll help me map out a future for Publicis USA in terms of what are our key differentiators. I think there is some confusion as to what Publicis stands for in the marketplace. We want to bring some clarity to that,” said Moore.

Before joining KB+P, Feakins was an executive creative director at Ammirati Puris Lintas, but spent most of his career at then Chiat/Day in Los Angeles. There he worked on Nissan and Eveready’s Energizer Bunny campaign.