• Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019
Buddy Brakha joins RSA and Black Dog Films as EP
Buddy Brakha (photo by Moshe Brakha)

Buddy Brakha has joined RSA Films and Black Dog Films as an executive producer. An accomplished integrated producer, talent manager and creative director, Brakha will executive produce for RSA’s award-winning roster of directors and help support its music video division, Black Dog Films where he’ll work closely with rep Molly Bohas.  Brakha will report directly to RSA’s managing director David Mitchell.

Brakha has spent the past 16 years as worldwide executive producer and a creative director at Brakhax2, founded by his father, acclaimed photographer, filmmaker and artist Moshe Brakha.  There Buddy Brakha produced large-scale integrated campaigns for brands such as SKYY Vodka, Martini & Rossi, EA, Best Buy, Dewar’s and Motorola, to note a few, many of which involved working with celebrities the likes of Charlize Theron, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Steve Jobs, George Clooney, Katy Perry, Will Smith, Keanu Reeves and others.

“Buddy is a seasoned producer who is creative, so first and foremost he works well with talent,” commented Jake Scott, director, RSA Films and Black Dog Films. “Brands, agencies and artists can be confident partnering with him, including his ability to pivot as their project objectives evolve.  He has worked at a high level in film, branded entertainment, advertising and photography which gives him an advantage assembling the best people for the most creative solutions.”  

Brakha commented, “One of the appealing things about joining is the people here are adept at everything from movies and ads to branded entertainment and music videos. It allows for cross pollinating talent and different sets of production knowledge which is a big advantage.  There is so much talent and vitality here, starting with the legacy of Ridley and Tony, and continuing with Jake, Jordan and Luke. RSA and Black Dog are family companies and coming from a family production company, that was important to me.”

“Buddy is a great addition to the companies,” commented David Mitchell.  “He ran his own family’s business, Brakhax2, for many years. He works well with brands, talent and production and has great taste and aesthetic.  He has produced in different formats for all mediums, including high-profile iconic film and photography campaigns for Moshe.  Buddy’s collective experience enables him to tackle projects creatively and competitively.”    

“There is so much potential today to work with brands as partners,” Brakha added. “Brands have always recognized the value of content, so I see them involved as co-producers vs. ‘the client’ or a silent sponsor. Today the role of producer is no longer singular--just print or television; you need to be an integrated producer able to do it all.”

Live-action commercials and print campaigns, editorial, luxury brands, photo book publishing (including a recent project as creative director for the coffee table book L.A. Babe published by Rizzoli) and branded content assignments have taken Brakha all over the world, including Mexico, Canada, South America, South Africa and Europe. 

The past year at RSA Films and Black Dog have seen a restructure of production staff to reflect changes in the market.  Brakha joins RSA staff executive producer Paul Kawasaki to offer clients diverse production expertise for the shifting demands of the advertising business. The news follows recent RSA signings of directors Peter Atencio, Christian Lamb and Marie Schuller. Black Dog recently signed music video directing sensation Meji Alabi and also represents Lamb and Schuller.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019
MMA appoints new leaders to global board of directors
P&G's Gerry D'Angelo

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) has appointed new marketing industry leaders, including the CMOs of American Family Insurance, General Mills, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Hershey, Hertz, hims & hers, Hyundai, Pepsi, Stitch Fix, Visa, and Walmart, to its global board of directors. The appointments cap the non-profit MMA’s five-year transformation into the leading global think tank, community and advocate for the advancement of marketing--the only marketing industry association to bring together senior leaders from all aspects of the industry.

The MMA has spent over $6 million in just the last few years to better understand the science of marketing and to define modern marketing as well as create brand new knowledge for pioneering marketers to accelerate their innovation and build enduring business growth. This focus is on helping MMA members become even more effective modern marketers.

“MMA gives us a level of insight, knowledge and industry-wide collaboration we don’t get anywhere else – that’s why so many top marketers are joining the board,” said Karin Timpone, MMA global chair, and global marketing officer, Marriott International. “By bringing this group together, we accelerate innovation in the marketing industry, ultimately leading to business growth and stronger customer engagement.”

Over the past three years, MMA has demonstrated this leadership on critical industry issues with the launch of the Marketing Attribution Think Tank (MATT) to support next generation measurement as well as a Marketing Org Structure Think Tank (MOSTT) to re-envision the modern marketing organization. In addition, MMA has challenged the notion of time as an audience benchmark through the first neuroscience study of how the brain reacts to advertising in mobile and desktop environments; produces more than 20 marketer conferences annually around the world including the globally recognized SMARTIES Awards; developed the first Business Impact Index which ranks companies driving the highest level of business impact through their marketing campaigns; and led initiatives to counter marketing fraud (Future of Mobile Fraud) and development of leading thinking around Brand Safety (SAVE).

As a board, the CMOs work with the senior most counterparts from the largest and most innovative marketing technology and media companies that are collectively redefining how marketing is created, delivered and measured.

“We now have over two-dozen of the world’s pioneering marketers along with martech and adtech leaders on the MMA global board who are collaboratively working to change media and marketing for the greater good,” said Greg Stuart, CEO, MMA. “With this unique and diverse structure of senior leaders across the marketing ecosystem, MMA is not only setting the standard for a new model of trade group but with our unique ability to marshal collective insight and influence to change the practice of marketing, we will also restore the ‘stature and gravitas’ into the office of the CMO.”

Elected by the MMA’s global membership, new board members will serve a two-year term beginning immediately. The new global board members and existing global board members include:

New Global Board Members

Jodi Allen, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Hertz
Janet Balis, Global Media & Entertainment Advisory Services Leader, EY
Jill Baskin, Chief Marketing Officer, The Hershey Company
Lynne Biggar, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Visa
Gerry D’Angelo, Global Media Director, P&G
Dean Evans, Chief Marketing Officer, Hyundai Motor America
Rita Ferro, President, Advertising Sales, Direct-to-Consumer and International, The Walt Disney Company
Deirdre Findlay, Chief Marketing Officer, Stitch Fix
Jeremi Gorman, Chief Business Officer, Snap Inc.
Amardeep Kahlon, Chief Marketing Officer, GlaxoSmithKline
Greg Lyons, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo Beverages North America
Joanna Lu, VP, Marketing and Communications, Greater China and Korea, The Coca-Cola Company
Barbara Messing, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Walmart U.S.
Ivan Pollard, Global Chief Marketing Officer, General Mills
Deborah Wahl, Global Chief Marketing Officer, General Motors
Melissa Waters, Chief Marketing Officer, hims & hers
Telisa Yancy, Chief Operating Officer, American Family Insurance

Re-elected Board Members

Suzy Deering, Chief Marketing Officer, eBay Inc.
Matt Derella, Global Vice President, Customers, Twitter
Ayesha Gilarde, Chief Marketing Officer, Match
Marie Gulin-Merle, PVH Chief Digital Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Calvin Klein
Peter McGuinness, President, Chobani

Existing Board Members whose terms were not up for re-election:

Board Chair: Karin Timpone, Global Marketing Officer, Marriott International
Deren Baker, CEO, Jumpshot
Cameron Clayton, CEO and General Manager, IBM Watson Advertising
Carolyn Everson, Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook
Greg Glenday, CEO, Lightbox
Jay Jaffin, Chief Marketing Officer, Verizon Connect
Kellyn Kenny, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Hilton Worldwide
Jeff Lucas, Vice President of North American Sales & Global Client Solutions, Verizon Media
Charles Manning, President & CEO, Kochava
Jack Philbin, Co-Founder & CEO, Vibes
Allan Thygesen, President, Americas, Google
Antonio Tomarchio, CEO & Founder, Cuebiq
John Trimble, Chief Revenue Officer, Pandora Media, LLC
Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Advertising and Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal
Treasurer: Stephen McCarthy, CFO/COO, GroundTruth
Chair Emeritus: John Costello, Former President, Global Marketing & Innovation, Dunkin’
Chair Emeritus: Luis Di Como, Executive Vice President, Global Media, Unilever PLC
Chair Emeritus: Sanjay Gupta, Chief Customer Officer, TIAA

MMA Regional Board Representatives to Global Board:

North America: Lou Paskalis, SVP; Enterprise Media Executive, Bank of America LATAM: Alberto “Banano” Pardo, Founder & CEO, Adsmovil
LATAM: Gustavo Aguiar, CDO, Johnson & Johnson
APAC: David Porter, VP, Global Media at Unilever Asia, Africa, Middle East, Turkey & Russia, Unilever

  • Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019
GSD&M names Kirya Francis as its first VP of diversity & inclusion
Kirya Francis
AUSTIN, Texas -- 

GSD&M has appointed Kirya Francis to serve as VP of diversity & inclusion. A first-of-its-kind role for the Austin, Texas-based agency, the creation of this diverstiy & inclusion position was championed by Francis. 

With the addition of this new role, GSD&M solidifies itself as a leader in the Omnicom network as one of only 17 agencies to have this position dedicated to diversity and inclusion. GSD&M is the first of those agencies, however, to put the focus on inclusivity, inherently leading to more diverse talent, experiences, ideas and ultimately work.

Francis’ new role will focus heavily on ensuring employees work in an environment that allows them to bring their full selves to work every day, a mission derived from both Austin and GSD&M’s welcoming culture. In her last 10 years at the agency, first as its VP, director of media & research technology and most recently as its VP of solutions, she has never lost sight of her intrinsic passion for people and advocating for diverse voices and experiences. Francis has been a driving force behind multiple diversity initiatives at the agency to highlight the people creating “First & Only” solutions, and this new role will facilitate more connections around inclusivity and its capability to take the work to new heights.

“It’s ingrained within the culture of GSD&M to put people first, and by doing so, everything else falls into place,” Marianne Malina, president of GSD&M, said. “With someone as devoted as Kirya playing the lead role in diversity and inclusion efforts, we set a precedent for the industry to lead with their hearts. Ensuring diverse voices are heard and understood can only improve the work we do for our clients and contribute to the strong company culture we’re already known for. Kirya’s curiosity, restlessness and empathy is reflective of the community we cultivate amongst our teams and in our relationships with clients.”

“In every role I’ve had, I’ve taken the time to champion inclusion. It’s a privilege to have a position solely dedicated to bringing inclusion to the forefront within the walls of GSD&M,” Francis said. “Advocating for diversity and inclusion through new, forward-thinking initiatives will not only reflect positively on the agency, but will also serve to benefit our community, clients and the industry as a whole.” 

As the first step to ensure all voices within the agency are heard, Francis will launch an interactive workshop at GSD&M to assess how employees see their value in the workplace. By encouraging open dialogue between colleagues in an intimate setting, and allowing for self-reflection and discovery, Francis hopes to meet her goal of creating a more inclusive work environment where employees feel free to bring their true, authentic selves to work. These insights will set the tone for the future of diversity and inclusion within GSD&M.

“As an industry, we’ve been putting the cart before the horse, so to speak,” Francis said. “Without proper education and training on inclusion, there can’t be diversity in the agency, let alone in our work or in our industry.”

A multifaceted executive who is highly regarded in Austin and within the industry, Kirya was recently inducted as president of the Austin Ad Federation. She was also nominated to be in the 2019 edition of Achievements in Black Austin, a literary work that profiles influential African Americans in Central Texas who are excelling in their profession, making a difference, giving to others and encouraging their community to succeed. An often sought-after speaker, she has appeared at the 2016 Texas Conference for Women, the 2017 3% Conference, at the University of Texas media engagement panel in 2018 and at National Instruments Week 2019 to speak about inclusion and increasing cultural awareness in the workplace.

  • Monday, Sep. 30, 2019
Pedro Prado named creative VP at Leo Burnett Tailor Made
Pedro Prado
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- 

Pedro Prado, known as “Papito,” has come aboard Leo Burnett Tailor Made as its new creative VP. Prado will lead a team of about 80 creative, content and production professionals, comprised of talents from various backgrounds, who work in tight integration with every other department at Leo Burnett. He will start at the agency on October 23.

With a career spanning 21 years, Prado is a Rio de Janeiro native who’s worked at advertising agencies McCann, Doctor and Casa da Criação; and most recently he had a lengthy tenure at F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi where he served as creative director and board member.

“I hope to put into practice some of what I learned at F/Nazca in the last 15 years, and help make Leo Burnett an increasingly more strategic and creative partner to its clients, as well as an agency that is vibrant with excellence, and a happy place to work,” said Prado whose awards include dozens of medals from the Creative Club, and trophies from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, Clio, ADC, Wave, El Ojo, London Festival, FIAP and El Sol.

  • Monday, Sep. 30, 2019
Maria Carretero joins Nice Shoes as sr. colorist

Nice Shoes has hired sr. colorist Maria Carretero. She brings to her new roost nearly two decades of global experience in color grading. Her portfolio includes a wide range of feature films, shorts, music videos and commercials for brands like Apple, Jeep, Porsche, Michael Kors, Disney and Marriott. She will be based at Nice Shoes’ NYC studio, also working across the company’s Boston, Chicago, Toronto and Minneapolis spaces and through its network of remote partnerships globally. 

Carretero comes to Nice Shoes from Framestore, where she spent nearly two years in its Chicago office establishing relationships with agencies such as BBDO, FCB, DDB, Leo Burnett Chicago, and Media Arts Lab, L.A. 

Carretero hails from Spain, where she received an education in fine arts. She soon discovered the creative possibilities in digital color grading, quickly establishing a career for herself as an international artist. Carretero’s ability to convey a brand story through her work has earned numerous awards, including Cannes Lions and a Clio.

Carretero’s recent stand-out work includes Jeep’s “Recalculating,” Disney’s “You Can Fly” and “Bella Notte,” Porsche’s “The Fix” and Super Bowl 2019 piece “Avocados from Mexico.” 

  • Thursday, Sep. 26, 2019
Editor Eric Argiro joins Cut+Run
Eric Argiro

Cut+Run has added editor Eric Argiro whose credits include The North Face’s “Question Madness,” winner of a Cannes Bronze Lion for Film Craft--Editing in 2017, New Balance’s “Anthem,” Citibank’s “Surfer” and the Zayn Malik “A Whole New World” music video with more than 122 million hits to date.

“I have known Eric for a decade and followed his career closely as he developed into an amazing editor,” says Cut+Run partner/editor Gary Knight. “He’s thoughtful and engaging and willing to take chances in order to elevate each project. I know he’ll fit right in at Cut+Run and enhance everything he’s involved with.”

Argiro said he was drawn to Cut+Run on several fronts, including its reputation, his trusted friend Knight and managing director Lauren Hertzberg.

Argiro is an advertising industry anomaly, having worked on Wall Street before translating his life-long passion for creativity into a career. Trading during the day, Argiro took night classes at The School for Visual Arts, where he studied motion design, animation and graphic design, and created shortform narrative projects. Argiro’s appreciation of the power of editing ultimately became his profession, first at Blue Rock, then at V2 and Union Editorial, earning awards and recognition along the way. His talent for uniting moments to deliver impactful edits is matched with his passion for sound design and music.

Argiro is based in New York and available throughout the Cut+Run network and on location. The company has studios in London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Austin.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2019
Joshua Studebaker joins Flavor as CG supervisor
Joshua Studebaker

Flavor has added Joshua Studebaker to its L.A. staff as CG supervisor. 

For more than eight years, Studebaker has been a go-to freelance CG artist in the L.A. marketplace, specializing in design, animation, dynamics, lighting/shading and compositing via Maya, C4D, Vray/Octane, Nuke and After Effects. A frequent collaborator with Flavor and its brand and agency partners, Studebaker has also worked with Alma Mater, Arsenal FX, Brand New School, Buck, Greenhaus GFX, Imaginary Forces and We Are Royale in the past five years alone.

In his new role with Flavor, Studebaker oversees visual effects and 3D services across the company’s global operations. Flavor EP Darren Jaffe stated, “Our creative capacity and our capabilities are growing as a global studio, and bringing Josh in to help shape our pipeline across multiple offices will be invaluable to maximizing our creativity and production expertise to benefit every partner, artist and project.”

Flavor’s talents in its Chicago, Los Angeles and Detroit studios have direct access to color-grading, VFX and picture finishing technologies like Autodesk Lustre and Flame Premium, for starters. Also, Flavor as part of the Cutters Studios’ family can access that network’s talents and full-service production/post-production operations--in those cities, and in New York, Tokyo and Kansas City.

Studebaker said, “I see Flavor as a place to grow my creative and design skills, as well as help bring more standardization to our process in house,” he explained. “My vision is to help Flavor become more agile and more efficient, and to do our best work together.”

  • Monday, Sep. 23, 2019
EP Zack Kortright joins The Mill NY
Zack Kortright

The Mill has added Zack Kortright as an executive producer in its New York studio.

Kortright joins The Mill with a wealth of production experience from Hornet, where he was an EP and head of business development.  Kortright has collaborated with brands such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Sqaurespace and Spotify across Hornet, Passion Pictures and Not to Scale, and his work has garnered recognition from the AICP Show, CLIO, The One Show, Cannes Lions, SXSW and Sundance.

Barry Parkhill, managing director of The Mill NY, stated, “As The Mill continues to diversify the profile of work we create and the roster of clients we partner with, I’m excited to have Zack--with his extensive experience and unique understanding of the ever-evolving needs of clients--join our exceptional Executive Producer team to continue to extend our reach across brands, agencies and production companies.”

  • Saturday, Sep. 21, 2019
McCullough, Golubovich join Eleven as creative director, head of production, respectively
Kelly McCullough (l) and Paul Golubovich

Creative agency Eleven has hired Paul Golubovich as director of production and Kelly McCullough as creative director.

At the San Francisco-based shop, Golubovich will be responsible for oversight of all production functions. He has over 30 years of experience in production and has worked with such brands as Anheuser Busch, Southwest Airlines, Intel, BMW, AT&T, and Apple.

Prior to joining Eleven, McCullough served as creative director at San Francisco-based subscription meal delivery service Sun Basket, leading creative for brand, acquisition, and retention across all channels. McCullough also worked on Sprint and Cheetos at Goodby Silverstein & Partners as well as Clorox and Conagra at DDB. In McCullough’s new role, she will be working on Dignity Health as well as several new creative assignments yet to be disclosed.

The hirings of Golubovich and McCullough come as Eleven celebrates its 20th year in business. Back in June, the agency promoted Jarett Hausske to president and Michele Sileo to managing director while hiring Ryan Ku as head of strategy & brand innovation. Eleven also unveiled the opening of its Chicago office and won the CarGurus account in early September.

  • Thursday, Sep. 19, 2019
Sydney Thomson named head of production at Tessa Films
Sydney Thomson

Tessa Films has named Sydney Thomson, an experienced freelance producer and production supervisor who’s a fixture in the Chicago production community, to the newly created position of head of production. The appointment was announced by Lisa Masseur, Tessa’s EP and co-founder. 

Both Thomson and Masseur are veterans of the Chicago production scene, with the latter launching Tessa after EP positions with ONE at Optimus and, before that, Radar Studios. Thomson, a New England native and graduate of Columbia College, got her start as an intern at Ebel Productions and landed her first job not long after as a P.A. at STORY.

She went on to work as a staff producer at Big Deahl, the noted Chicago-based tabletop company, before leaving to freelance for some of the industry’s top live action companies. Her list of credits includes Smuggler, Hungry Man, Radical Media, STORY, Moxie Pictures, Sibling Rivalry and RSA. The roster of directors she’s worked with includes Ky Dickens, Amanda Speva, Mark Pallman, Tim Mason, Ron Lazzeretti, Hank Perlman, David Deahl and Irv Blitz.

Masseur and Thomson have worked together for a number of years, with Thomson freelancing for Masseur at ONE at Optimus, then following her after she launched Tessa with Reid Brody. “I didn’t know Lisa before I started freelancing at ONE,” said Thomson, “but I knew of her. She’s a legend here in Chicago, and in many respects she trained me without even knowing me, since I worked with so many producers who themselves worked directly with her.”

The current Tessa directorial roster includes Meghann Artes, Sam Macon, Tim Mason, Joe Otting, Toben Seymour, Amanda Speva and Duncan Wolfe.

Masseur said that adding Thomson is a strong barometer of Tessa’s progress: “We’re a growing company and we’ve been doing some exciting and fun work in our first year and a half,” she points out. “This year in particular has been incredibly good for us so far, and I feel extremely fortunate that Sydney’s agreed to come on board officially to join #teamtessa. With her help, we can only continue to prosper from here.”

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