THE NEW FOCUS: Tree Looks to Restructure Creative at CME-KHBB/N.Y.

With CME-KHBB’s Midwest creative operations stabilized, worldwide creative director David Tree is expected to turn his attention to the agency’s New York office this week with an announcement that he’ll be spending half of his time there and reshuffling responsibilities in the creative department.
Tree could not be reached at deadline, however one CME-KHBB executive said people are not being eliminated, but that responsibilities will be realigned. Still, it is expected that creative staffers may leave because of the changes, leaving room for new hires.
Alan Saperstein is chairman and chief creative officer of the N.Y. office. Charles Cilo, Neil Drossman and Domenick Marino all hold the titles of evp/executive creative officer.
For close to a year, Tree has focused on putting out fires, orchestrating new business pitches and shoring up the creative staff in the agency’s Chicago office. Tree had been spending much of his time in Chicago until Tom Reilly joined the office as senior vp/creative director in November.
Tree has also strengthened his Minneapolis staff, turning over much of the day-to-day responsibilities to his four evp/group creative directors – Ed Des Lauriers, George Halvorson, John Hurst and Margaret Tylczak. Tree has little involvement with the Detroit office and the Chrysler Jeep-Eagle account.
CME-KHBB’s office in New York had a mixed year in 1992. It lost around $15 million in Reckitt & Colman business, but restored the loss, and then some, with Thrifty Car Rental, C.B. Fleet, Mentholatum, Longines-Wittnauer Watch Co. and more recently, Yoo Hoo beverages. Still, the creative product out of this office is viewed, even internally, as weak.
Tree, who had been chief creative officer of CME-KHBB’s Minneapolis office, was named to the advertising agency’s general management committee last spring, giving him control over and responsibility for the agency-wide creative product. When parent Saatchi & Saatchi Co. PLC merged CME with London-based KHBB last fall to start a global network, Tree got the worldwide title.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)

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