Publicis Seattle Solidifies Its Top Tier With 3 Hires

Publicis in the West has beefed up its creative, broadcast and print production departments with the addition of three principals.

Joining the Seattle agency are Mark Waggoner as senior principal, group creative director; Derek Ruddy as principal, director of broadcast production; and Suzy Watson as principal, director of production services.

The hires are part of an ongoing effort by co-presidents Randy Browning and Kevin Kehoe to move the shop beyond its retail heritage and lift the quality of the creative.

“We realized for us to success fully make the transition, we needed a complete structural overhaul at the director level,” said Kehoe, who also serves as chief creative officer. “This place is about proven people who have something to prove.”

Waggoner has been freelancing at Publicis since last spring. Prior to that, he was a senior writer at Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., working for such clients as Coca-Cola and Nike. He will continue to divide his time between Seattle and his home in Portland.

Waggoner said he was attracted to Publicis in part by the opportunity to collaborate with senior principal and group creative director Rob Rich. He and Rich previously worked together at the now-defunct Boston agency Holland Mark. He said he is also eager to take a crack at the shop’s largest account, wireless communications provider VoiceStream.

“I’m pretty excited to up the ante and work on something that big and that demanding,” Waggoner said of the VoiceStream business, which is estimated to be worth $115 million. He will also work on the Washington State Lottery account, among others, and oversee 16-17 creatives. He reports to Kehoe.

Ruddy, meanwhile, has freelanced for such clients as Mastercard, Sun Microsystems and Ford for the last four years, and also spent eight years at Wieden, where he worked with Browning on Nike.

At Publicis, Ruddy will head a seven-person department.

Watson spent the last 10 years at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. Kehoe, another Goodby alum, said Watson is expected to “make sure traffic and our digital studio and print pro duction run very much in sync with each other.”