McKinney Hires Wieden Writer as Group CD

NEW YORK Wieden + Kennedy copywriter Jonathan Cude has joined McKinney + Silver as group creative director, a new post, a McKinney representative said.

Cude, 35, reports to partner, executive creative director David Baldwin. He will partner with group creative director Dave Cook to work primarily on McKinney’s Audi business. Audi spent about $70 million in 2002 and about $50 million during the first seven months of 2003 on advertising, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. New work is due in first-quarter 2004.

At W+K, Cude worked on Nike ads such as “Streaker,” which showed a man streaking a soccer game as TV announcers commented dryly, and “Before,” which presented athletes warming up to the sounds of orchestra members tuning their instruments. He also worked on the relaunch of Diet Coke in North America and Barq’s root beer.

“I was fortunate at Wieden + Kennedy to work with clients and brands that I had affinity for, and I felt that way about Audi as well,” said Cude about his move. “I just think the [Audi] brand has a lot of potential and the agency has a lot of potential.”

Baldwin said he hired Cude because of his work on brands such as Nike. “He always does big ideas that are grounded and move brands forward,” Baldwin said. Specifically, he cited Nike’s “Before.” “It shows great restraint … It was a big idea in a quiet place,” Baldwin said. “On the other side of the spectrum is the ‘Streaker’ spot, which I thought was the best piece of advertising last year in the industry.”

Cude had been at W+K since 1997, when he joined as copywriter. Before that, he was at Tucker Wayne/Luckie in Atlanta, where he was a broadcast production assistant and copywriter, working on accounts including NAPA Auto Parts and Papa John’s Pizza.