Key Coke Creative Exits Wieden

LOS ANGELES Creative director Mark Fenske confirmed that he is leaving independent Wieden + Kennedy to resume his teaching career at the Adcenter at Virginia Commonwealth University.

At Wieden, Fenske contributed to several Coca-Cola broadcast and theatrical efforts. A recent Coke execution called “Videogame,” which is based on the style of computer-generated games such as Grand Theft Auto, is among a trio of Coke ads set to air during the Super Bowl on Feb. 4. This will mark the beverage giant’s first in-game appearances since 1998.

“I missed teaching,” said Fenske, cautioning against reading more into his move. “In fact, I’ve already started teaching. The semester started two weeks ago.” His last day at Wieden was Monday.

Fenske had partnered with Hal Curtis on the Portland, Ore.-based agency’s Coke account since he joined Wieden 13 months ago.

He said the Coke business would be “left in very good hands,” but did not elaborate.

An agency representative said the shop has hired a replacement to partner with Curtis, but would not disclose the creative’s name.

Before joining Wieden in late 2005 for a second tour of duty at the shop, it had been close to a decade since Fenske worked as an agency staffer. He had been chief creative officer at the former N.W. Ayer agency in New York, a seven-month posting in 1996. He had previously worked at W+K from 1986-89.