Publicis Recruits Top Creatives

Publicis in Mid America has added two creative heavyweights to its Dallas team.

Mike Fazende, former executive creative director at DDB Dallas, and Richard Crispo, ex-vice president and creative director at DDB Chicago, will each hold the title of principal and creative director at Publicis.

Both executives will report to Ted Barton, the shop’s president of creative.

The pair represents two of three creative principals now at the agency. The other is Galen Greenwood, who joined Publicis last year.

The appointments could lead to a reorganization of the agency’s creative department locally, Barton conceded, although he declined to discuss specifics.

The department’s chain of command could also remain “status quo,” he said.

“These are guys that know what the hell they’re doing,” said Barton. “They’ll fit in where they can. It wasn’t [filling] slots, it was people we were interested in.”

Fazende briefly served as executive creative director of Ogilvy & Mather’s Dallas office after leaving DDB in 1999, where he had worked on the American Airlines and Midway Entertainment accounts. Before that, he was part of the team at Fallon McElligott that won silver and bronze awards at Cannes for the Minneapolis agency’s Lee Jeans television commercials.

Crispo’s experience prior to DDB Chicago includes agencies like TBWA\Chiat\Day, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Hal Riney & Partners. He has several creative awards, including a bronze Lion at Cannes for his Saturn work.

Crispo said he knew Barton from when they worked together at Hal Riney.

“He lets people do what they need to do and allows them to be very creative,” Crispo said. “[Publicis] felt like a good place for me to be at the time.”

Fazende had been freelancing over the past year, working on new- business pitches and a print campaign for British automaker Lotus when he was invited to join Publicis.

“With Ted Barton coming over here and Galen here, it seems like a good fresh start for the place,” Fazende said. “They’re very committed to new business, and that’s going to be the next big push for us. It’s a wide-open opportunity.”