Ogilvy Taps McGann

As part of its own rebranding campaign, Ogilvy here has hired Geoff McGann to serve creative director at the historic shop.

Ogilvy & Mather, which recently moved from stuffy office space on Wilshire to a new, cutting-edge 28,000-square-foot converted warehouse, is determined to compete with its younger rivals.

“This is just part of our ongoing revitalization of this office in this market,” said executive creative director Joe McDonagh.

McGann, who first came aboard as a freelancer in mid-October, took over the creative director duties previously handled by former creative director Steve Chavez, who will be working freelance, agency executives said.

McGann, 37, will be in charge of creative for all the Culver City, Calif.-based agency’s accounts other than Mattel—which is under the creative direction of Sandy Zachary, Elaine Haller and McDonagh.

Having worked on the Nike account as an art director and writer at Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore., in the early ’90s, McGann recently directed commercials for HSI productions, Los Angeles, before forming his own company, Code. He directed for M-80 films, Santa Monica, Calif., prior to joining the agency.

McGann said he is excited about his new role in the changing shop.

“There is no question that this is a departure from the older Ogilvy mold—almost on every front,” McGann said.

“It will take time to organize and put everything into play, but the objective is to position Ogilvy L.A. as a more creatively driven shop,” McGann added.

McDonagh explained that the hiring of McGann was a key piece of the puzzle. “All of his work found a way to connect with people on an emotional level. That is what we wanted to bring into the fold,” he said.

Ogilvy L.A, which handles Mattel, El Segundo, Calif., Symantec, San Jose, Calif., and Mail Boxes Etc., San Diego, Calif., among others, has estimated billings of about $100 million.