There looks to be a bit of the back-to-the-future approach coming into play at DDB/Chicago, where chief creative officer Ewan Paterson has begun restructuring the agency's creative department. On Tuesday, as a blizzard headed for Chicago, Paterson said he is promoting both Bill Cimino and Mark Gross to the role of executive creative director, a new title at the agency. Gross and Cimino will report directly to Paterson.
It's no coincidence, we suspect, that Cimino and Gross are attached to two of the agency's biggest pieces of business -- Anheuser-Busch and McDonald's. Though the agency has had little luck attracting new accounts of that magnitude in recent years, it is essential to retain the ones that it does have if the agency has any hope of rebuilding its client roster.
Cimino joined DDB/Chicago in 1993, and was promoted to group creative director in 2006. He has worked closely on both the McDonald's and Bud Light business. Gross joined the agency in 1993 as an art director and worked his way up to group creative director, overseeing Bud Light, Bud Light Lime and Cars.com
It appears Paterson is attempting to revive the impressive creative spirit that dominated the agency throughout much of the 1980's and 1990's, but seemed to evaporate almost entirely over the past decade.
"Mark and Bill stand for everything that is great about DDB/Chicago, namely a belief in -- and ability to produce -- fantastic and talked about work," said Paterson. "Their promotion will allow them to have greater influence over the agency's work and future," added Paterson.