Industry Update Week(s) of September 10th & 17th


As Volkswagen nears the end of its global agency review, the automaker has officially eliminated IPG and its lead agency, Deutsch from the final round, which takes place this week. Omnicom’s DDB already handles major portions of the VW business in Europe and Canada and is now thought be a frontrunner for the North American portion of the account.

Following a review, Newman’s Own has selected Deutsch New York as its agency of record.

Agency Creative/ Producers

Matt O’Rourke has joined 22squared Atlanta as chief creative office. O’Rourke was most recently executive creative director at Grey New York where he oversaw creative on the Volvo brand.

Tallahassee-based Bright Red has hired Liz Paradise as its first chief creative officer. Paradise most recently served as director, creative for Disney’s Yellow Shoes studios in Orlando. Before that she spent over 25 years at McKinney, most recently as EVP/executive creative director.

Chelsea Steiger has been appointed creative director at Fred&Farid Los Angeles.

Laura Lepre has joined Joan as executive producer.

Mike Wente has been named chief creative officer of San Francisco-based Swirl McgarryBowen. Wente was most recently co-chief creative officer at VML.

Heat San Francisco has promoted Elaine Cox and Warren Cockrel to executive creative directors.

J. Walter Thompson New York has promoted Jessica Stewart and Brittany Sarrett to creative directors and executive producer Heather O’Flynn to head of production.

Leo Burnett Chicago hired Tom Scharpf as EVP/executive creative director to lead the Samsung account. Scharpf joins from Venables Bell & Partners.

Project Worldwide’s Pitch has appointed Galen Graham as chief creative officer. Graham was most recently group creative director at 72andSunny.

Jason Ambrose has joined R/GA as executive creative director of the Austin office. Ambrose was most recently creative director at Preacher.

Annie Nguyen has joined Space150 as creative director.

Indianapolis-based Young & Laramore has promoted Scott Kin to creative director and Dan Shearin to associate creative director.

L.A.-based Phenomenon has appointed Kat Friis as chief production officer and Kyla Elliott as group creative director.

Director Jeff Yeats has joined the roster at Wondros.

Above + Beyond has director Kryzz Gautier to the roster.

Humble has signed director Raymond Bark for representation in the U.S.

Cassandra Brooksbank has joined the roster at Great Guns.

Swiss director Ivo Wejgaard has signed with Identity for representation in the U.S.

James Frost has joined the roster at Tool of North America.

Rock Paper Scissors has promoted editor Lauren Dellara to its roster for commercial representation in the U.S.

The Mill New York has hired Desi Gonzalez and Eliana Carranza Pitcher as executive producers.


MDC agencies Forsman & Bodenfors and KBS are merging under the Forsman & Bodenfors name to form a new global creative offering. The new Forsman & Bodenfors will share dual headquarters in Sweden and New York. The agency will be led by a global board overseen by global executive chairman Anna Qvennerstedt and global CEO Guy Hayward. Silla Levin and Mike Densmore will continue to lead Forsman & Bodenfors Sweden and New York, respectively.

Colleen DeCourcy and Tom Blessington have been named co-presidents of Wieden+Kennedy, and Dave Luhr and Susan Hoffman will move into chair roles alongside co-founder Dan Wieden.

Katy Alonzo has been named head of strategy at Mother Los Angeles. She joins from Droga5 where she was most recently group strategy director.

McgarryBowen has appointed Greg Johnson its chief innovation officer.

Tricia Russo was named chief strategy officer of DDB Chicago, and Susie Lyons was appointed head of strategy at DDB New York.

Upcoming Events

Sept 26 – 29 | Kinsale Shark Awards (Kinsale, Ireland)
Sept 28 – Oct 15 | New York Film Festival (NYC, New York)
October 3 | CLIO Awards (NYC, New York)
October 18 | Shots Awards (London, UK)
October 25 | UKMVA (London, UK)
November 8 – 9 | Ciclope Festival (Berlin, DE)