Tonic Hires Pair of CDs for Sun

Tonic 360 @ JWT, which quickly joined the major leagues after landing the prized Sun Microsystems ad account, has hired a pair of creative veterans to handle the $100 million business.

The San Francisco shop last week announced that Toby Barlow and Doug Patterson have been hired as creative directors on Sun, the agency’s largest account. The duo will work for managing partner and creative director Fred Schwartz.

Barlow and Patterson worked together a number of years ago at Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco, and Schwartz said they have good chemistry together.

Barlow, 35, spent the past two years freelancing after working as a creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York, for such clients as Seagram and Barnes & Noble.

Barlow worked for nine years as a creative at Riney on such accounts as Saturn, Mirage, Stroh’s Beer, Sprint PCS and First Interstate.

“Sun has a history of doing good creative … and being part of that is a real opportunity,” Barlow said. “It’s also going to be fun to take an agency known for its online work and bring them to the forefront.”

Patterson, 44, has worked in advertising for 18 years, spending time at a number of different agencies. Besides Riney, his employers have included TBWA\C\D, Playa del Rey, Calif., FCB, San Francisco, and the former Ammirati & Puris, New York. He has worked on brands such as Saturn, Excite.com and Amazon.com.

Patterson has also been freelancing of late. His last agency job was as a group creative director at FCB in 1999.

“The client is full of smart people. They are leaders in the industry,” Patterson said of Sun. “It will be fun to work for people who know what they’re doing.”

Tonic recently launched its first major print campaign for Sun. TV work is expected this spring.

J. Walter Thompson acquired Tonic 360 shortly after the two agencies pitched and won the Sun account together.