Ogilvy’s BIG Names New ECD

NEW YORK Richard Bates, a former senior vice president of creative affairs at Atlantic Records, has been named executive creative director of Ogilvy & Mather’s Brand Integration Group.

Bates, 43, becomes the top creative at BIG, Ogilvy’s 25-person design and branding arm. He fills a vacancy left by the April exit of Brian Collins, who had been ecd since 1999.

Bates had been consulting at WPP Group’s BIG for slightly more than a year, working with clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola and Mattel.

One J&J project, for example, involved creating an identity for the packaged-goods giant at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which J&J is sponsoring. And for Coke, Bates helped develop a “visual language” for brands such as Coke Zero and Coke Lite.

Bates spent 11 years at Atlantic Records here, helping to design album packaging, merchandising and advertising for recording artists as varied as Kid Rock and Mick Jagger. He began as a designer and rose to svp of creative affairs, before leaving in 2004.

During the same period, Bates also was a principal at Bates Hori in New York, a boutique that he left in early 2006.

Ogilvy North American co-CEO Bill Gray described Bates as an “inspired collaborator, leader and proven talent.”

Bates, for his part, was attracted by BIG’s “level of creativity and design.” Another draw? The “hugely rare” opportunity to work on iconic brands marketed by Fortune 200 companies both domestically and abroad, he said.