- PORTLAND, Ore.
Wieden+Kennedy has appointed Ana and Hermeti Balarin as executive creative directors for the independent agency’s Portland shop. They will start at W+K Portland later this year, joining managing director Jess Monsey in leading the largest of the eight office independent network.
The wife-and-husband duo of Ana and Hermeti are leaving their roles as ECDs and partners at Mother London. The two started at the agency as interns in 2007, and eight years later became the agency’s first ECDs. In their 14-year career at the shop, the creative duo created work for brands including KFC, IKEA and Stella Artois. Notably, they helped Mother London land the KFC UK account in 2017, and produced award-winning work that addressed their distribution crisis. Most recently Mother launched the brand’s first global campaign, which paused the “Finger Licking Good” slogan during the COVID pandemic. Their longstanding relationship with IKEA has produced over a decade of award winning work, including the holidays hit “Silence the Critics.”
Ana and Hermeti have also championed the agency’s use of its creativity and influence for good, leading projects like FreeTheFeed, which broke taboos around breastfeeding in public, and Greenpeace’s Rang Tan campaign, which led to the world’s largest palm oil trader to commit to cleaning-up their supply chain.
Karl Lieberman, W+K’s chief creative officer, said, “Ana and Hermeti are creative powerhouses, and they’ve helped brands show up in the world in really interesting ways. Coming from Mother, they also understand how important and powerful independence is in our industry. But what really attracted us to them is their style of leadership: they’re generous, kind, empathetic, funny, interesting humans who prioritize caring for people and leading from a place of optimism and excitement. They have a great track record leading an agency and empowering people to find their voice and take ownership of the work and the culture. They care deeply about the world, and have a point of view and the conviction to use their influence and creativity to change things for the better. That’s what W+K is all about, and we are really excited to have them in Portland.”
A joint statement from Ana and Hermeti read, “When we came into advertising there were two agencies we dreamed of working at: Mother London and W+K Portland. We feel extremely lucky to have grown up in one of them and now incredibly honored to have been invited to help lead the other.”
Lieberman will step into a leadership role at W+K Portland during the interim prior to Ana and Hermeti starting there. W+K Portland works with Nike, Procter & Gamble, Fisher Price, KFC, Supercell and Samsung, among others.