Noble to Return West, Go It Alone

Jim Noble, who resigned last week as executive creative director of BBDO South, said a meeting in January with his creative colleagues in New York was what got him thinking about returning west after only 14 months in Atlanta.

“We were in a hotel, working a presentation for Cingular Wireless,” said Noble. “We had two weeks to do a ton of work, and it really got my blood flowing. It was just so great to be doing ads instead of supervising people doing ads. I said to myself, this is what I should be doing.”

With that, Noble decided to literally go back to the drawing board. The 42-year-old adman, who left the former GMO/Hill, Holliday in San Francisco in February 2001 to join BBDO South, is opening his own operation in Truckee, Calif., on the shores of Lake Tahoe. He will focus primarily on copywriting.

At BBDO, Noble led a creative team of 50, including six associate creative directors. In addition to Cingular Wire less, its largest account at about $250 million, the shop also handles creative for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Noble moved to BBDO after its previous executive creative director, Art Mellor, retired in 2000. Noble began his 15-year career in advertising at the former Chiat/Day in San Francisco before joining BBDO’s Vancouver office.

“I forgot how exciting it can be to be involved in the creative process,” said Noble. Although he said he has already received more than 100 inquiries from people eager to work with him, he said it will likely be a one-man operation for the first six months.