Two months into his tenure at DDB/Chicago, chief creative officer Ewan Paterson is starting to wield the axe in the creative department. Among those believed to have been on the wrong end of that blunt axe this week, sources say, are creative directors Sally Weingartner, John Siebert and Grant Priehs. All held senior positions within a DDB creative unit that had been leaderless for more than two years prior to Paterson's arrival in late June. Siebert had, for a while, been closely attached to the agency's State Farm Insurance business, much of which is now in the hands of DraftFCB/Chicago.
Little has been heard from Paterson since he walked into DDB/Chicago, but sources say one curious priority on his agenda, apparently, is a facelift of the digs DDB now occupies at the Aon Center. Paterson, we're told, wants a hipper vibe than DDB's somewhat nondescript offices currently exude. Snazzier offices, while nice to work in, certainly won't do much to ignite the creative spark that has been too much absent from DDB in recent years. That will have to come -- if it comes at all -- from the creatives Paterson recruits to replace the axed.
One can only imagine what must be going through Paterson's mind as he watches from afar the meltdown in DDB's New York office, where former BBDO/New York hotshot creative Eric Silver was expected to do big things as chief creative officer. He did nothing really in his brief tenure in the job. Now he has been kicked upstairs to a business development post that is obviously a waiting room for him until he can find something else to do elsewhere.
Rumor has it Silver is one of three finalists for the top creative job at Euro RSCG/New York. It may not be an ideal fit for him, but at least it could take him out of the purgatory where he now finds himself. A Euro RSCG spokesman said a decision could come in September.