And so the news has come. In leaks and rumors and and dribs and drabs. And as of today, there is still nothing to confirm, according to a DDB spokeswoman.
But as had been suggested on the gossip vine for several weeks, DDB/Chicago does indeed appear ready to bring in a Brit -- Ewan Paterson from CHI/London -- to try and solve a host of problems at DDB that may prove to be even more than a stiff-upper-lipped bloke from the United Kingdom can handle. It's unclear at this point, of course, just how aware Paterson is of the situation into which he is stepping. But surely he must know no one seemed willing to touch the DDB job for more than two years. A warning sign? Apparently not to Paterson.
Having been well-insulated in the British Isles from all that has plagued DDB for several years, Paterson probably believes his creative prowess alone will be sufficient to enable him to succeed where at least two former top creatives at DDB did not. One of those, Michael Folino, simply threw in the towel and left after six months. The second, Paul Tilley, tragically jumped to his death from a hotel window.
That is but a bit of the troubled history of an agency that Paterson will call home in just a couple of months. He no doubt knows little or nothing about Chicago or the wider range of issues that have affected the ad industry here -- mostly for the worse in recent years.
Paterson will merely be a Brit with some creative credentials coming to the Windy City and hoping he can make a mark at DDB, an agency that tragically seems to have lost its creative mojo. It's a sad situation to walk into, but Paterson is going to give it a whirl. Bets are now being taken on whether he has any chance of succeeding.