McClellan Joins Temerlin McClain in Top Creative Post

Temerlin McClain has hired Eric McClellan, a former creative chief at TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, to fill its top creative post. McClellan takes on the executive creative director title from Dennis McClain, who remains CEO.

“The next frontier of our growth will be realized through extraordinary creative execution,” said McClain. “Eric is going to play the key role in making this happen.”

The 42-year-old art director served as the top creative at TBWA\C\D’s New York office for four years before leaving in September 1998 to pursue a freelance career in San Francisco. He has also worked in the New York offices of Deutsch (1989-91) and BBDO (1991-93).

His work includes Ikea (“It’s a big country. Someone’s got to furnish it.”), which won a Gold Lion at Cannes; New York Life (“The company you keep”); and a black-and-white campaign for Infiniti that featured British actor Jon athan Pryce. His personal favorite is his campaign for The Glenlivet (“One place, one whis key”).

McClellan, a Southerner, was moving his family from San Fran cisco back to New York in November when he got a call from Temerlin. The agency hired him as a freelancer to help pitch Kinko’s. “I was literally unpacking our last moving box when the cell phone rang,” McClellan said.

The Irving, Texas-based agency didn’t win Kinko’s, but the relationship led to further talks. Temerlin had long considered handing off McClain’s duties to a creative person of national reputation, but had put a search on hold during last year’s merger with McCann-Erickson Southwest.

Described as a “hands-on” manager, McClellan believes great ads begin with “a single good idea that takes everybody nurturing, caring and ushering it through the process. That [process] drives any management decisions that I might make,” he said.

“I was ready to get back to the cut-and-thrust of the advertising business, and this was the right job at the right time. We’re going to pack up our boxes again,” McClellan said.