• Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2020
VMLY&R promotes Myron King to chief integration officer, launches Transformation Initiative
Myron King

VMLY&R has promoted Myron King to chief integration officer, a role in which he will lead organizational design and cultural integration strategy for North American clients. He joins VMLY&R’s executive leadership team and will report to global chief experience officer Jeff Geheb.

King will oversee the strategic integration of core agency capabilities for new and existing clients across North America. This includes focusing on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) corporate integration; consulting on marketplace diversity; and developing inclusive policies, practices, and protocols for business evolution. 

In addition, the chief integration officer serves as a strategic partner for the agency’s new cross-departmental Transformation Initiative. VMLY&R’s Transformation Initiative aims to implement integration efforts that combat systemic racism across all areas of the business, both client-facing and internal. The initiative will also support ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion strategies that drive measurable progress and substantive and lasting change for BIPOC employees and VMLY&R employees at large.

King’s appointment comes at the apex of a broad industry awakening on the convergence of technological advancements and the urgency of racial equity in the workplace and beyond.

“Our agency is dedicated to improving what it means to be a diverse, inclusive, and valuable partner today, and 100 years from now,” Geheb said. “To that end, we need leaders who bring expertise and perspective in how we harness creativity, technology, and culture. Myron is the very embodiment of forward-thinking leadership, and his broad experience will be a winning combination to better serve our clients and our agency’s ambitions.”

King is a veteran of the VMLY&R network, having spent nearly 15 years with the agency. He served most recently as managing director of VMLY&R’s advisory practice, where he led digital transformation efforts. Since joining the agency in 2006, King has played a vital role in helping clients navigate disruption by crafting connected and memorable brand and customer experiences for clients like Bayer, Coca-Cola, ConocoPhillips, Dell, Electrolux, Ford Motor Company, Honeywell, Kellogg, SAP, Sherwin-Williams, and Sprint.

“VMLY&R is like family to me,” King said. “Over the years I’ve watched us grow from 400 employees to over 7,000. We’ve consistently adapted and evolved to deliver some of the top creative, digital, and consumer-centric marketing solutions in the world. In the process, we’ve sustained a culture of togetherness and excellence. I’m excited to amplify our organizational design and cultural integration efforts with clients to help make VMLY&R the most diverse, inclusive, and creative agency in the world.”

King is highly active in the development of VMLY&R’s culture and employee experience. He is a founding member of the VMLY&R Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee; a Mentor Captain; and an executive sponsor for BIPOC employee resource groups. He earned dual bachelor’s degrees in political science and communication studies from the University of Missouri before completing a master’s degree in public policy analysis from the University of Rochester.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020
Eric Alexander-Hughes joins editorial roster at The Den
Eric Alexander-Hughes

Editor Eric Alexander-Hughes has joined The Den--the recently formed independent boutique shop founded by editor Christjan Jordan and EP Mary Ellen Duggan--for commercials, music videos, documentaries and web and TV content.

While studying at San Francisco State University, Alexander-Hughes started his editing career at ad agency Pereira O’Dell. He continued to hone his skills freelancing at top editorial houses in Los Angeles. Alexander-Hughes spent the last three years with Final Cut Editorial, where he edited  Spotify’s “Black History Is Happening Now” campaign featuring Pharrell Williams and the Doritos 2019 Super Bowl spot “Boy Band” featuring Chance the Rapper and The Backstreet Boys, 
Additional work by Alexander-Hughes includes editing the hit HBO documentary miniseries The Defiant Ones and dozens of music videos for J. Cole, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Travis Scott, Diddy and Pharell, among others. 

“I think of editing as a marriage between two elements--classical and jazz,” said Alexander-Hughes. “The first is exact and cerebral, while the second is more free-style and rooted in a gut-feeling. I like to mix the two in my work--adapting to the individual needs of the client and project.”  

  • Monday, Aug. 24, 2020
Jenny Luong returns to Zulu Alpha Kilo as associate creative director
Jenny Luong

Zulu Alpha Kilo has added Jenny Luong as its newest associate creative director to partner with recent hire, Nick Asik. This is Luong’s return and reunion at Zulu where she was previously partnered with Asik in the early 2010s. In their previous time together at the agency, they worked on award-winning campaigns like Coca-Cola’s Arctic Home and Corona Day of the Dead. 

After leaving Zulu in 2014, she worked at john st. for four years and helped Presidents Choice win Strategy’s Brand of the Year in 2016. Luong has been internationally recognized by D&AD, Cannes and Webbys for her work on Miami Ad School and the anti-bullying campaign, Kids Read Mean Tweets.

In 2018, she taught at Miami Ad School and then moved south of the border to DDB Chicago, working on iconic American brands like MARS Wrigley, MillerCoors, State Farm, Jeep and Capital One. During her time in Chicago, she was also part of the 2019 London International Awards Creative LIAsions program and was on the 2020 One Club Young Ones jury.

Luong returned to Toronto in March 2020. The fact that she moved back just prior to the global pandemic was a fortunate coincidence. “I really missed the Canadian way of working. I wanted to go back to an agency where the creative process is scrappier and there’s more of a maker mentality. My early career was spent at Zulu, so it felt like a homecoming.”

Before joining full-time at Zulu, she freelanced and helped create the Advertising & Design Club of Canada All-nighter campaign, a 24-hour webathon to save the ADCC.

  • Friday, Aug. 21, 2020
Longtime Amazon executive Jeff Wilke to retire next year
This June 2019 photo shows Jeff Wilke at an Amazon conference in Las Vegas. Amazon says executive Wilke, who oversees the company’s retail business, will retire early in 2021. He will be replaced by Dave Clark, who runs Amazon's warehouses and delivery network. Wilke has been at Amazon for more than two decades. (AP Photo/Joseph Pisani)

Amazon's retail chief Jeff Wilke, who helped the company transform itself from an online bookstore into a global colossus, is retiring early next year. 

Wilke, 53, has been with Amazon for more than two decades and was regarded as a potential successor to founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. His responsibilities grew along with the company, running not just Amazon.com, but the Whole Foods grocery chain and its physical book stores. 

Wilke is often referred to within Amazon as "The other Jeff" to differentiate him from Bezos. The two have worked closely together since Wilke joined the company in 1999, four years after Amazon.com started selling books online.

He will be replaced by Dave Clark, who runs Amazon's warehouses and delivery network, the Seattle-based company said Friday. Clark, who also joined the company in 1999, has sped up delivery times by expanding Amazon's fleet of vans and jets, allowing it to relying less on UPS and the postal service. 

Amazon's growing power, however, has brought increased scrutiny from lawmakers in the U.S. and abroad. Last month, Bezos was questioned by Congress about how the company treats its third-party sellers, who list and sell goods on Amazon.com. Bezos told Congress that he couldn't guarantee that employees weren't looking at seller data to create competing products, an allegation that the company and its executives had previously denied.

Last year, at an Amazon conference Las Vegas, Wilke said he welcomed the scrutiny. 

"I think that substantial entities in the economy deserve scrutiny,'" Wilke said at the time. "Our job is to build the kind of company that passes that scrutiny."

In an email to staff Friday, Wilke said that he doesn't have another job lined up.

"So why leave? It's just time," he wrote in the email. "Time for me to take time to explore personal interests that have taken a back seat for over two decades."

Wilke said he will focus on running the company through the holiday season, which is shaping up to be the busiest one yet for Amazon. Sales have skyrocketed as online sales boom during the pandemic. 

"He is simply one of those people without whom Amazon would be completely unrecognizable," Bezos wrote in a memo to staff. "Thank you, Jeff, for your contributions and your friendship."

  • Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020
Threaded Pictures signs director Chad Ostrom for regional representation
Chad Ostrom

Threaded Pictures has signed director Chad Ostrom for commercial and branded content representation in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Ostrom, who recently moved to Dallas, remains affiliated with his NY production company, Penelope. 

Known for his visual storytelling and lifestyle work, Ostrom has fostered relationships with agencies big and small to help create high-profile campaigns for Mercedes-Benz, Tom Ford, Bristol Myers Squibb, GE and Spotify.  

A Manhattan, Kansas native, Ostrom exhibited a passion for film that led him from a BA in Film at the University of Kansas to a short stint out West at ICM and ultimately back across country to a much larger version of Manhattan on the East Coast. Through bartending by night and PA’ing by day, he quickly worked his way up to assisting the documentary/fashion/beauty director Douglas Keeve. This early industrial and branded content work on GQ, Vogue and other fashion brands taught Ostrom the importance of lighting, attention to detail, and other critical cinema etiquette that he carries with him into every project he tackles today.

Ostrom’s experience extends beyond the directing chair, having launched his own production company, the aforementioned Penelope, while in NYC. Pairing his well-rounded understanding of the business with his innate sense of creativity, he developed strong working relationships with agencies such as Publicis, VMLY&R, R/GA, Laird + Partners, The Richards Group and Saatchi & Saatchi.

“I like to build companies and be a part of something, so joining Threaded Pictures with our move to Dallas gives me a strong foundation to build upon,” says Ostrom. “Having a fellow NYC transplant in Brian (Hwang, Threaded EP) at the helm, who’s smart yet easy to talk to, goes a long way and it’s amazing to have strong post-partners like Republic Editorial and Infinite Fiction, so I can focus my energy on the actual production and rely on those guys to take it past the finish line.”

Ostrom joins Threaded Pictures’ roster of directors that includes TG Herrington, April Kirby, Ben Tedesco, Two Headed Boy and Taylor Washington. 

  • Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020
Editor Edward Line goes into EXILE
Edward Line
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

Editor Edward Line has joined EXILE, a boutique house which maintains offices in NYC and Santa Monica. He brings to EXILE more than a decade of experience in commercial, music video and narrative editing. Line was previously repped by Cartel.

Line has been sought out by creatives from agencies such as Wieden+Kennedy, Droga5 and Goodby Silverstein & Partners and crafted work for brands including Ancestry, EA Sports, Booking.com, Covergirl, and Guinness. He has collaborated with award-winning directors including Traktor, Paul Hunter and Matt Lambert and has longstanding relationships with production houses PRETTYBIRD, Stink, Pulse and Caviar.  In addition to his commercial work he’s edited music videos for high-profile artists including Usher, Sia and Ed Sheeran. Line’s short films have collected prizes at international film festivals, been shortlisted for an Academy Award and nominated for a BAFTA.

Born to British and Malaysian parents and having traveled extensively, Line has an innate appreciation of music, film and cuisine from around the world. He’s also a proud member of the LGBTQ community and offers a truly unique and multicultural perspective to his craft. 

In addition to top-level editorial talent, EXILE offers Flame, After Effects and visual effects in house on both coasts.

  • Monday, Aug. 17, 2020
Stefan Draht joins Sarofsky as creative director
Stefan Draht

Design-driven production company Sarofsky is adding creative director Stefan Draht to its full-time staff. 

A Chicago native who set his sights on the creative industry very early on, Draht built the freelance career of his dreams. Highly sought-after as a designer and creative director, he has been an instrumental contributor at Sarofsky and beyond while also providing groundbreaking UI/UX design to help Northern Trust Corp. create next-generation digital experiences.

Draht’s artistry also spans film, TV, web, and digital product design, reflecting his drive for devising media-agnostic creative solutions. Through his work for Marvel Studios and major global brands, he has helped to land Cannes Lions and Emmy Awards, among many other honors. Building on his intense studies in computer animation and fine art at DePaul University, Draht’s broad technical and creative foundations continue fueling his passion for design.

“As long as I’ve been freelance, I’ve been working with Erin (Sarofsky, principal/ECD of the Sarofsky shop), Steven (Anderson, executive producer) and Duarte (Elvas, creative lead), so this feels like landing back home,” Draht said. “I’ve always found Erin to be a great creative sounding board and respected her commitment to design as a driving force behind all the work they do. I think we both see design as going well beyond beautiful visuals: It’s deeply understanding and considering what’s right to meet our clients’ goals.”

Stefan continued, “I’m especially excited to be a part of building something and helping to grow and mentor a team of top-notch creatives. I am where I am in the industry because of a few people who were willing to talk to a teenager about what they do. I hope to have a positive impact on the next generation of young artists in this field.”

  • Monday, Aug. 17, 2020
Rami D'Aguiar joins Nomad Editing Company
Rami D'Aguiar

Nomad Editing Company has added editor Rami D’Aguiar to its roster for representation in the U.S. and internationally spanning advertising and long-form content. His credits include brands such as Pepsi, Ubisoft and Nike. And his work has won awards at the Cannes Lions, Clio, D&AD, El Ojo and Ciclope competitions.

D’Aguiar is a frequent creative partner of PRETTYBIRD director Vellas, having collaborated on the Ubisoft spot “Ghost Recon” and Renault Stepway’s “Spy,” which won Gold at El Ojo for Editing. Even more recently, D’Aguiar worked with Vellas on the stirring short film “Inertia City,” which depicts the far-reaching societal harm of Sāo Paulo’s high levels of pollution and traffic. Created for Google, the United Nations, and the Tribeca Film Festival’s ‘#GlobalGoals’ film series, Inertia City is one of 10 shorts made by filmmakers from around the globe that promote the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“In addition to his incredible body of work, I love the fact that he’s trilingual and can easily edit out of any of the Nomad offices,” said company partner/executive producer Jennifer Lederman. “Rami has a place in L.A., he works in NYC, he has a home in Brazil. He’s just used to the culture of editing where needed.” 

D’Aguiar’s expertise and fluency in English, Spanish and Portuguese should prove valuable at Nomad as it develops virtual tools to accommodate its global clients. At the start of the pandemic, Nomad provided its editors with software for real-time video editing sessions with clients in any part of the world. D’Aguiar raved about the process, saying, “Although we cannot be in a room with our clients, we can still have virtual editing sessions. That’s been really successful in helping the editor to stay connected with the director and the agency team throughout the post process.”

Nomad partner Glenn Martin noted, “Although we have offices around the world, we are a small, nimble and tight-knit group. Rami is a wonderful addition to our family.  Not only is he talented, he’s also very funny and approachable — he’s someone you just want to hang out with. And, it is always inspiring to meet someone who shares your passion for the work. Even before COVID, we had developed remote and international workflows that allowed us to collaborate with great talent throughout the world.” 

Prior to joining Nomad, D’Aguiar was at creative studio Nice Shoes. Besides being an editor, D’Aguiar is a founding partner at Brazil-based gin brand AT FIVE London Dry Gin.

Nomad has bases of operation in Santa Monica, Calif., New York, London and Tokyo.

  • Monday, Aug. 17, 2020
Jim Joseph named president of McCann Health North America
Jim Joseph

Jim Joseph has been appointed president of McCann Health North America. In his new role, Joseph will oversee all North American advertising and promotion agencies in the U.S. and Canada, as well as build and expand the North American growth team. He comes aboard McCann Health at a time when the network in North America has built considerable momentum, performing well over the past year in global award show recognition and new business wins.

Joseph joins McCann Health after eight years at Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) where, while serving as global president, he helped lead the firm’s strategic transformation from traditional public relations to fully integrated marketing communications, including the complex merger of Burson Marsteller with Cohn & Wolfe. His extensive consumer and healthcare experience includes time at Publicis, where among other roles, he served as the managing director at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness. He started his career in client-side brand management at Johnson & Johnson and Arm & Hammer. Joseph has expertise and has led campaigns in numerous therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, upper respiratory, HIV, dermatology, women’s health, diabetes, immunizations, and oncology. Throughout his career Joseph has developed a proven track record of leading and managing global brands and agencies for sustained growth and innovation.

John Cahill, global CEO of McCann Health, said of Joseph, “His decades-long industry experience, investment in innovation and talent will help continue the momentum we have been seeing in the region and push us even further towards raising the bar in delivering the best possible work for our clients.”

Joseph shared, “Joining the network during a time of immense recognition and explosive growth in the North American region is incredibly exciting. I look forward to championing both the groundbreaking work that McCann Health produces for our clients, as well as the network’s greatest asset: our employees.”

Joseph has been recognized consistently, both individually as well as part of the agencies he has led, including numerous Best Agency to Work For and Agency of the Year awards, as well as for the Diversity and Inclusion Company of the Year in 2019. Joseph is also the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning book and blog series “The Experience Effect,” about the impact that a compelling and consistent brand experience can have on customer loyal and business results. He also recently released his latest book titled “The Conscious Marketer.” Joseph serves as an adjunct instructor at New York University, teaching master’s degree courses. He holds an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Columbia University and a BS in Marketing and Communication from Cornell University.

More than 50 percent of McCann Health North America’s clients are now global brands. The region welcomed new clients, such as Sarepta and Bayer Consumer Health, while also expanding AstraZeneca, RB, Janssen, Sanofi, Pfizer, Takeda, Novartis and Vertex businesses across the network. Each of the North American agencies received recognition in high-profile industry awards shows throughout 2019 and 2020, including McCann Health Managed Markets recent Agency of the Year award at the 2020 Med Ad News Manny awards.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020
Publicis Groupe Germany hires CCO Dennis May, chief growth officer Christoph Pietsch
Dennis May
DUSSELDORF, Germany -- 

Effective February 2021, Dennis May and Christoph Pietsch will serve, respectively, as chief creative officer and chief growth officer for Publicis Groupe Germany. Based in Dusseldorf, both will report directly to Frank-Peter Lortz, CEO of Publicis Groupe DACH.

May and Pietsch move from Omnicom agency DDB where May was CCO and Pietsch had been chief marketing officer.  

In his CCO role at Publicis Groupe Germany, May will be responsible for the creative direction of its agencies including Digitas Pixelpark and MetaDesign as well as customized Power Of One agency models including iBeauty (L’Oréal) and AXA next (AXA). A special focus of May’s work will be on the further development of Saatchi & Saatchi, the group’s core creative brand, which he will continue to develop together with CEO Christian Rätsch.

Pietsch will drive the business development of all agencies across Publicis Groupe Germany, building on the significant success of Power Of One in the local market to help facilitate more marketing, business and digital transformation for clients. In addition, he will be responsible for the group’s development and communication of new products and services, indispensable to clients.

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