Leo Burnett/Chicago chief creative officer Susan Credle is getting her close-up in the January, 2011, issue of Chicago magazine, set to hit newsstands in a matter of days. The Credle profile was written by Marcia Froelke Coburn, one of the city's finest long-form reporters. We got an advance look at the story today, and we can report that it is a balanced assessment of Credle and her first year on the job at Leo Burnett, where she arrived in October, 2009, as chief creative officer, after having spent her entire career at BBDO/New York.
Froelke Coburn writes at length about some of the Burnett work Credle has said she is most proud of, namely the "Mayhem" campaign for Allstate and the charming Happy Meals animated spots for McDonald's. There is the requisite recounting of how Credle handled -- and came to love -- the M&M's business, a primary focus during much of her time at BBDO. Credle also talks with Froelke Coburn about wanting to foster an environment at Burnett where clients are encouraged to "go for long-term investment over short-term splash."
On the personal front, Credle discussed how she had tried -- but was unable -- to have children with husband and architect Joe Credle: "If I had had children, I don't think I could have done this job -- not as well as I have," said the Burnett creative boss.
Credle has only been at Burnett for a year. It's much too early to say what kind of lasting impact she will have at the iconic Chicago agency, and Froelke Coburn wisely stops short of suggesting Credle will be the one who burnishes Burnett's slightly tattered image and restores at least some of the agency's former greatness.