Y&R Enlists First Chicago ECD

NEW YORK Ken Erke, group creative director at Cramer-Krasselt, has left the agency to become ecd at WPP’s Young & Rubicam, Chicago, said Mark Figliulo, CCO at Y&R in Chicago.

While at Cramer-Krasselt, he worked on Corona and Rozerem.

Erke, who started last week, is the first ecd the Chicago office has had. “It was mainly because Sears consolidated with us and we’re growing the business day by day,” said Figliulo. “I needed senior representation on all the accounts.”

Y&R Chicago, which already handles creative duties on the $70 million Miller Brewing Genuine Draft account, is awaiting word on where the $175 million Miller Lite/High Life business will land. The other two contenders are Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

This is not Erke’s first time at the Chicago office. Before working at Cramer-Krasselt, he spent six years at Y&R Chicago. During that time Erke, who is a copywriter by trade, worked on Miller Lite, Nascar and Hilton Hotels. His Millerauditions.com won two Cannes Lions and two One Show Pencils.

As ecd he will oversee 20 creatives at an office of between 90 and 100 people.

Erke, 39, completed his portfolio at New York’s School of the Visual Arts and his first job in advertising was at Holland Advertising in New York, where he worked on ESPN2 and Comedy Central. From there he went to DDB and then to Y&R, both in Chicago.

He described his style of work as bouncing ideas off of other people until something worthwhile rises to the top. “I walk ideas around. I’m constantly pitching ideas, constantly throwing them against other people,” Erke said. “It’s not usually a ray of light, and then you have a big idea. It’s an idea you keep shaping and shifting until it becomes a big idea.”