Saatchi Hires Arnold as Group CD

Ron Arnold, a freelance art director who has worked at agencies as diverse as J. Walter Thompson, Chiat/Day and Ally & Gargano, has joined Saatchi & Saatchi as svp, group creative director.

His account responsibilities include Kodak, Beck’s, General Mills cereals and Procter & Gam ble’s Eukanuba dog food. He’s partnering with group cd Mark Cacciatore, 42. Arnold becomes the eighth group head at the $1.9 billion agency; all report to chief creative officer Tod Seisser.

Arnold, 49, fills a vacancy left by the departure of Mariano Favetto, 35, who moved to Saatchi in Toronto.

Seisser, who has known Arnold since 1980, when both worked at Della Femina Travisano, more recently used him on a handful of creative assignments, including a pitch for Burger King in 2000 and a campaign for Iams pet food.

“He has a really good range,” said Seisser, noting that Arnold has worked on brands such as Saab, Colgate-Palmolive and TDK in his 27-year career. “He’s a very inventive guy.”

Seisser cited a print spread for Saab in the mid-1980s that transformed a black outline of the car into an inkblot, with the headline, “Do you see a prac tical car or a performance car?” In another print ad, for Peugeot, Arnold used the guise of a classified ad to illustrate that for the price of a used Saab, you can own a new Peugeot. That ad, from the early 1990s, won a Silver Pencil at The One Show.

A paucity of freelance work and his rapport with Seisser triggered Arnold’s move to Saatchi. “It comes down to the people and the environment,” he said.