The search is on. A spokeswoman for Zig/Chicago told us today that the agency is indeed searching for a new creative leader to replace the departed Stephen Leps, who is believed to be en route to a new creative post at Leo Burnett/Chicago. The spokeswoman said she doesn't know how long Zig executives in Chicago and Toronto, where the agency's flagship office is located, will spend looking for someone. "They have to find the right person," she said. If recent history is any indication, of course, it typically takes quite a while for Chicago ad agencies to find someone willing and able to lead a creative department.
The question then becomes: How much time does Zig/Chicago have? The agency failed to land any big or high-profile accounts during the 15 months or so Leps was running the show creatively, and new business wins had been slow in coming even before Leps arrived promising to shake up things. We're told there was a going-away party for Leps a couple of weeks ago. There was plenty of alcohol on hand, but Leps reportedly made no big farewell speech. He just quietly ended his tenure at Zig.