• Monday, Dec. 7, 2020
R/GA Austin adds Griffith, Solis, Lewis
R/GA's Austin office
AUSTIN, Texas -- 

R/GA’s Austin office has added sr. account producer Athena Griffith, management supervisor Mario Solis and sr. content producer Shellie Lewis.

Griffith brings over nine years of creative, analytical, and solutions-driven marketing experience to her production role. Previously at Havas/Annex ATL, she was responsible for managing campaigns for Coca-Cola and its portfolio of brands. Her other agency experience has included Flavorpill Media and Translation in New York. After leaving New York, she settled in Atlanta, where she will be based near a key client.

Closing in on 15 years of experience, Solis has expanded his remit to focus on client services, strategy, content development, and social media programming. Before joining R/GA Austin, he oversaw client satisfaction, growth and retention, and account profitability at Wick Marketing. During his career, Solis has also helped steward the strategic vision and growth for accounts like AT&T, Constellation Brands, Stripes Convenience Stores, and Seton Family of Hospitals.

Lewis brings a seasoned mix of production and operations expertise to her role. Her specialties include leading multi-faceted teams to create cross-platform, interactive experiences that support television show launches, theatrical releases, and luxury brand activations. Under the banner of The Graphic Foundation, Lewis ran content production workstreams and executed creative for multiple digital and production agencies across the U.S., including Ant Farm, BBDO, Leo Burnett, The Mill, Team One, Wieden+Kennedy, and 72andSunny. She will be stationed out of Los Angeles.

  • Monday, Dec. 7, 2020
PJ Pereira named jury chair for International ANDY Awards; diversity program launched
PJ Pereira

The ADVERTISING Club of New York’s International ANDY Awards, the first advertising award show of the season, has named PJ Pereira, creative chairman and co-founder of Pereira & O’Dell, as its new jury chair. Pereira is set to serve in the role for two years and has served on the ANDY Awards jury in past years, in addition to serving as a Cannes Lions jury president three times. This will be his first time leading the integrated ANDYs jury.

As a part of the AD Club’s continuous effort to drive diversity, the club is launching “Face The Future,” an initiative to propel a new generation of diverse leaders for the industry.

At a time when it’s become clear that a refresh is needed, The ANDYs is inviting the industry to set the bar higher, by implementing a creative mentorship program and creating more seats at the table inclusive of all backgrounds. The ANDYs organization believes that the future of this industry needs to focus and invest in its people, now more than ever--changing the way our industry is represented in a jury made of its leaders.

A creative mentorship program will match each juror with a recent college graduate. Each jury member will become a long-term mentor of someone from an underrepresented community. The mentees will be selected from the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Competition, City University of New York schools and Historically Black Colleges & Universities among other institutions. The selection of mentees will be led in partnership with CUNY Professor Rebecca Rivera, and Pereira O’Dell.

Beyond that, the ANDYs will also add five seats to the jury lineup, reserved for rising stars at the associate creative director level or equivalent, also coming from underrepresented groups. Given the high caliber of judges at the ANDYs, the chance these new judges will have to participate in these discussions will elevate their comprehension of the industry and at the same time, will allow the debate to include their fresh perspective.

“We are committed to building programs that create a culture of action. As we aim to identify the next generation of leaders that the industry needs, our goal is to leverage our world-class jury of creative leaders to guide these rising stars in their career path,” said Gina Grillo president and CEO of The ADVERTISING Club of New York and International ANDY Awards. “It’s a gift to have an individual like PJ Pereira, a Latino immigrant, but also a very experienced jury chair, as the ANDYs next leader and to be able collaborate with him. We’re excited to add ‘Face The Future’ to The Club’s roster of many initiatives in this space. It’s important that the industry understands that submitting work to the ANDYs is an investment in the future of the industry as we look to change the face of advertising. We need to help provide the next generation of leaders with the tools they need to change the industry for the better.”

Pereira said, “This year, with a pandemic, an awakening of social justice and the election, we wanted to be mindful about how we show up in the industry. Award shows can come across as self-serving and self-important, but they also matter for the careers of a lot of people whose only opportunity to grow are their ideas. So, we are using this platform to not only to promote these brave minds, but to also accelerate a more inclusive generation of leaders. Unless our industry, including its leadership, represents the population of this country, we will never be able to do the work that we need to do.”

The full 2021 jury will be announced soon.

  • Monday, Dec. 7, 2020
Tomorrow promotes Brynne Copping to executive producer 
Brynne Copping
VENICE, Calif. -- 

Tomorrow, the brainchild of managing director Chris Zander and independent filmmaker Andrew Wonder, has promoted Brynne Copping to executive producer. Copping joined the Tomorrow team in September 2019 as head of production. She quickly proved herself at the Venice-based production company, working with Tomorrow’s directors on major projects for clients including Ford, Bank of America, Lowe’s, Nissan, and ESPN. 

Copping hails from Kansas City where her mother’s background in acting sparked her early interest in film. She joined the Independent Filmmakers Coalition at the age of 16 and went on to graduate from LMU with a degree in film production. Copping has worked her way up through production roles at companies including Uber Content, Humble and SMUGGLER.

  • Monday, Dec. 7, 2020
Liz Roche named Havas CX helia's GM/chief strategy officer
Liz Roche

Havas Creative North America continues its commitment to customer experience with the appointment of Liz Roche as general manager and chief strategy officer at Havas CX helia, part of the recently formed Havas CX global network. In the position, Roche--formerly managing director of Havas helia (customer engagement)--is tasked with leading strategy for clients and internal teams in the areas of CX, digital, data, analytics and marketing technology.  

“Liz’s fresh and modern approach to CX, and what it can be, is unparalleled,” said Stephanie Nerlich, CEO, Havas Creative North America. “Liz has been key to uncovering customer causation and the root of consumer behavior, while working together with strategy teams to transform disparate data points into true insights. Ultimately, Liz’s strategic vision allows us to better design the customer experience and drive deeper meaning between brands and their customers.” 

A true performance marketer and technology enthusiast, Roche brings a diverse background which includes data integration engineering, digital strategy leadership and vertical leadership. After spending time at LinkedIn, Epsilon-Conversant and Facebook, she brought her deep understanding of CRM, digital, display and social to Havas helia Chicago, where she led the data-driven strategies, CRM strategy and implementation, loyalty program management and marketing technology consulting for the Chicago group’s clients. 

“I’m passionate about cultivating customer loyalty through, and removing friction from, digital experiences to give clients unparalleled competitive advantages,” noted Roche. “The collection of experience I’ve built gives me a different perspective of what’s possible--and right now that’s bringing together the right team for each assignment. With our CX network, we’re adding more agility to our approach, building a powerful model based on expertise, collaboration and consumer understanding.”  

Roche has also made an immediate impact on the North American creative network’s culture. “I’m thrilled to be a member of Havas’ North America Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, proudly representing employees of the LGBTQ community,” she added.  

Havas CX is a new, international network that launched in October 2020, dedicated to delivering meaningful brand experiences across the entire customer journey. The collective brings together more than 1,500 people from 20 of Havas’ global agency groups and local agencies, plus additional CX specialists from across the Havas network, under a common structure, governance, methodology and mission.
“Havas CX is taking a human approach to understand customers as more than just a series of media touchpoints connected to transactions,” said Roche. “It’s not just what your customers do, it’s why. Once we understand that we can truly design the customer experience and build a creative program based on those truths.” 
Roche’s initial goal in her role with Havas CX helia is to create more collaborative space for the network’s vast talent, from PhDs to strategists, to play to their strengths and accelerate growth. 

Roche will report to Nerlich and be based out of Havas Chicago.

  • Friday, Dec. 4, 2020
Nathan James Tettey, Iona Goulder named creative directors at Untold Studios
Iona Goulder (l) and Nathan James Tettey

Nathan James Tettey, a noted U.K. music video director, is taking up the role of creative director at Untold Studios. Also assuming a creative director’s position at the London-based content studio is Iona Goulder.
Tettey joins from Warner Records where he was head of creative. He made his name directing numerous high-profile music videos including “Own It” by Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy, and “Only You” by Drake and Headie One. Tettey’s body of work has had well over 100 million YouTube views to date.
Early in his production career, Tettey worked at Partizan and Blink and he founded Dirty Works. At Untold, Nathan will work across TV, music and advertising, and will continue to collaborate with artists on their music videos.
The accomplished Goulder meanwhile as creative director at untold is responsible for developing Gen Z-focused, original content for digital platforms, brands and commissioners.
Goulder recently returned from L.A. where she was VP and creative director at Kyra TV. During her time at Kyra, Goulder developed and launched new IP and original content across the network, including the hugely successful, unscripted Youtube show NAYVA. 

Goulder has consistently developed Gen Z original content in collaboration with brands such as Nike, Converse, Beats by Dre, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Rimmel and Aussie Hair. She previously worked at Amuse, part of VICE Media Group, and adidas, where she was sr. content strategist.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020
Kelly Knight Becomes AMV BBDO's 1st chief diversity & HR officer
Kelly Knight

AMV BBDO has promoted Kelly Knight to serve as its first chief diversity and HR officer. She will work with senior leadership at the agency to ramp up its efforts building a culture which is inclusive, celebrates and recognizes diversity. Her responsibilities also include ensuring that AMV’s services and strategy are aligned to the agency’s cultural goals. She reports to Sarah Douglas, CEO.

Knight has spent her career working in human resources and was appointed by AMV as HR director in 2006. As well as championing HR initiatives at AMV, Knight is active in industry-wide campaigns to make careers in advertising more accessible to people who are under-represented.

She was part of the IPA’s Creative Skillset Working Party, which developed the first advertising apprenticeship in 2012, and is now a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships. Knight also sits on the IPA’s Creative Pioneers Board and is a member of the association’s Future of Talent Strategy Group.

Earlier this year she was included on the inaugural IPA iList, which recognizes individuals for their game-changing dedication to improving the diversity and inclusivity of the advertising industry. 

Knight said, “Diversity, equality and inclusion is in my DNA. From the moment I started at AMV I worked with the IPA to address the lack of diversity in our industry.  I’m delighted that this is being formally recognized and I will strive to continue to work with my agency and the wider industry in the pursuit of equality.”

Douglas said, “Kelly is the consummate human resources professional. Along with that, she has a vision for how our industry in general, and AMV in particular, can build a more diverse workforce and a culture that is truly inclusive, as well as the skills to make her vision a reality. This promotion is recognition of her achievements as well as signifying the continuing commitment AMV has to building the best possible workplace.”

  • Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020
Chapeau Studios adds industry vets Troy Kelley, Jon Campbell
Jon Campbell

Chapeau Studios continues to bolster its creative offering with two key additions to the company: chief solutions officer Troy Kelley and EP of creative content Jon Campbell. Kelley and Campbell join founders Ben Looram and Karuna Venter, and creative director Lauren Mayer-Beug, on Chapeau’s leadership team.

In 2020, Chapeau Studios continued to expand its full-service capabilities across a broad spectrum, collaborating with clients to develop concept-driven work for episodic television and advertising campaigns, while beginning work on the rollout of its in-house Virtual Production studio.

As chief solutions officer, Kelley is responsible for working directly with clients to develop bespoke solutions from across Chapeau’s broad creative, technology, and content studio offerings. Kelley joins Chapeau with two decades of experience in the advertising industry, where his award winning digital, social, and ecommerce work helped global clients like Walmart, Coke, Samsung, and MasterCard transform their digital presence. He’s spent his career with creative shops R/GA, Deutsch, Ogilvy and Arnold. In recent years, he’s specialized in helping IPG build custom agency offerings for large creatively-focused clients, like Big Family Table for Hulu and McCann XBC for Mastercard.

Campbell leads the charge on building Chapeau’s content development and content creation for branded and narrative content. He has built a 15 year career weaving high-end branded, narrative, and documentary projects together. Most recently, he was part of Google’s “Chief Story Telling Team” where he produced award-winning short documentaries for the Search On series. His projects have gathered over 200 million views online and been featured in The New Yorker and The Tribeca Film Festival. Campbell is also passionate about combining storytelling and technology and is already diving deep into the creative technology side of Chapeau Studios.

  • Monday, Nov. 30, 2020
Jasmine Johnson named head of studio at Stoopid Buddy Stoodios
Jasmine Johnson
BURBANK, Calif. -- 

Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, founded by Seth Green, John Harvatine IV, Matthew Senreich and Eric Towner, has named Jasmine Johnson as head of studio. In the newly created role, Johnson, who most recently served as an original feature animation production executive at Netflix, will oversee production of the studio’s slate and manage the day-to-day business. She will report directly to Green, Harvatine IV, Senreich and Towner.

Johnson has a proven track record of developing and growing animation studios, having helped build Brazen Animation from the ground up during her tenure there as head of production. Johnson’s animation career began at Walt Disney Animation where she was an integral member of the production team that launched the Fairies film franchise.

Following her success at Disney, Johnson joined a quickly growing Reel FX where she produced short format, special venue and ride film projects, as well as worked on feature films including The Book of Life. Most recently, as a production executive at Netflix, Johnson oversaw 15 feature films and specials in various mediums, including CG, 2D and stop-motion animation.

Stoopid Buddy Stoodios’ next release will be Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. The highly-anticipated series, from creators Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum, will premiere on Hulu early next year and marks Marvel’s first endeavor into adult animation. In addition, Stoopid Buddy is currently in production on season 11 of the Emmy Award-winning Robot Chicken, season 2 of Crossing Swords for Hulu, Mega City Smiths for AMC, The Summoner for SYFY’s late-night adult animation block, TZGZ, and an untitled stop- motion holiday special for Fox, all of which will premiere in 2021.

  • Monday, Nov. 30, 2020
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to leave telecom agency on January 20
In this June 24, 2020 file photo, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai testifies during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee hearing to examine the Federal Communications Commission on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pai, a Republican, says he is leaving the telecommunications regulator on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2021. President-elect Joe Biden will choose a new Democratic head for the agency. A new administration typically picks a new chairman. (Alex Wong/Pool via AP, File)

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, says he is leaving the telecommunications regulator on Inauguration Day.

President-elect Joe Biden will choose a new Democratic head for the agency. A new administration typically picks a new chairman.

Pai has presided over a contentious FCC over the last four years. He undid net neutrality rules that barred internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T from favoring some types of online traffic over others in 2017 and championed other deregulatory efforts. He has also worked to free up spectrum for cellphone companies so they can roll out 5G, the next-generation wireless standard that promises faster speeds, and cracked down on Chinese telecom companies as national security threats.

The incoming FCC is likely to try to reinstate net neutrality rules and focus on closing the "digital divide," getting internet service to Americans who don't have it because it's not available or they can't afford it. 

It's likely not to act on a  recent directive from the Trump administration to look at Section 230 in an effort to regulate social media companies like Facebook and Twitter. Section 230 shields internet companies from lawsuits about posts by users. The Trump administration has gone after the law, alleging with no evidence that social networks censor conservatives.

The FCC has three commissioners of the majority party and two in the minority party. It currently has two Democratic commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks, one of whom Biden could choose to elevate to chairman or choose someone from outside the agency.

Pai and another Republican commissioner, Michael O'Rielly, are leaving the agency. O'Rielly is leaving because the White House pulled his nomination after he said he wasn't sure the agency had authority on Section 230. Congress is weighing the nomination of another Republican, Nathan Simington.

"It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission," Pai said in a statement. "To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege. As I often say: only in America."

  • Monday, Nov. 30, 2020
Cinesite hires Hank Driskill as group head of CG for feature animation, promotes 3
Hank Driskill (l) and Holger Voss

Cinesite has reshaped its production and technology leadership with one new appointment and three key promotions.

Hank Driskill has been hired as group head of CG for feature animation. He comes over from Blue Sky Studios. In his new role he will be responsible for leading the CG supervisors as well as shaping the workflow and working practices for Cinesite’s feature animation teams. Driskill has over three decades of experience, with 20-plus years in senior technology positions. Prior to Blue Sky Studios, he spent 20 years at Walt Disney Animation Studios as part of the studio’s leadership, serving as technical supervisor on films such as Bolt, Big Hero 6 and Moana. He embarked on his professional career at Digital Domain, where he helped bring films such as Apollo 13, Dante’s Peak, Fifth Element and Titanic to life. 

Additionally Cinesite has promoted Holger Voss to group head of CG for visual effects, Alexander Savenko to group head of production technology, and Danny Smith to group head of infrastructure technology.

Voss will focus on leading the VFX workflow and tailoring Cinesite’s pipeline to meet the needs of VFX production.  Emmy Award-winner Voss has been a pivotal member of Cinesite’s team for 17 years; his technical knowledge is integral to Cinesite creating innovative, made to measure visual effects for every production it works on.

Having initially studied computer media science in Stuttgart in 1998, Voss gained valuable industry experience in motion capture and technical direction, progressing through the ranks to become lead TD and visual effects supervisor for productions including Rocketman, Lost in Space (season 2), Independence Day: Resurgence and most recently MGM’s forthcoming Aretha Franklin biopic Respect

Savenko will be leading pipeline development strategies across the production technology group. He began his VFX career with Cinesite as a talented young developer in 2003, having completed his doctorate in computer science at Moscow University the previous year. He went on to progress through the pipeline department working as a 3D technical director, a senior technical director before becoming head of CG pipeline. In 2013 he joined MPC as a software lead for rendering, helping teams to deliver award-winning blockbusters like Jungle Book, Guardians of the Galaxy and Maleficent. Savenko re-joined Cinesite in 2015 and has been a key player in software development and systems architecture across Cinesite’s expanding studio footprint.

Smith is a specialist in systems infrastructure technologies within the VFX industry. He joined Cinesite in 1996 and has worked for the studio periodically for many years while co-owning an independent support business working for a wide range of TV and film VFX houses. Smith returned to Cinesite in 2017 having previously been head of systems technology at Cinesite London. In his new group wide position as head of infrastructure technology, he will be responsible for spearheading a unified approach to core infrastructure design and deployment in VFX and feature animation divisions across the Cinesite Group. Smith will be providing technical leadership, supervision and mentoring to the senior technical members of the systems group and the systems development team. Prior to re-joining Cinesite, Smith was head of technical operations at Framestore London.

Over the past five years Cinesite has emerged as a leading independent entertainment service studio, expanding to include the Image Engine and Trixter brands. These three promotions and the hiring of Driskill reflect the company’s growing maturity and its endeavors to consolidate expertise across the group.

“I am very excited to welcome Hank to the Cinesite team and to announce the well-deserved promotions of Holger, Alexander and Danny, who have made major contributions to Cinesite over several years through their dedication, vision and teamwork,” commented Cinesite CTO Michele Sciolette. “In recent years we have been working to integrate our studios to give our clients the ability to tap into integrated global capacity, technology and talent anywhere in the world, while offering a high-quality local experience. As Cinesite continues to expand, we are eager to accelerate this effort and to take our VFX and feature animation global pipeline and infrastructure to the next level, consolidating our efforts across our studios, connecting as one company, and growing our global strategy together. This new group-focused leadership team will shape and implement our strategy in collaboration with the exceptional talent in each one of our studios.”

Cinesite, Image Engine and Trixter are currently in production on the Warner Bros. live-action features Fantastic Beasts 3, Space Jam: A New Legacy and The Suicide Squad, The Witcher (season 2) and a yet to be announced feature film for Netflix as well as The Addams Family 2 and Respect for MGM, The North Water for BBC Films, Blazing Samurai and Hitpig for Aniventure, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings for Marvel to name a few.

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