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Jonathan Sackett joining DDB/Chicago as digital leader

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headshot.jpgAs part of the ongoing effort to turn around DDB/Chicago, the agency is bringing in Jonathan Sackett as chief digital officer and managing director, a new position at the shop. Sackett previously was chief digital officer at the Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.

In his new role at DDB, Sackett will lead the charge to develop the shop's digital capabilities, an area in which the agency is viewed as a laggard by some observers. "I've always known DDB to possess lightning in a bottle," said Sackett. "And we're going to build on the great digital work I've seen from DDB to release that lightning," added Sackett. "This new senior leadership position is more than a traditional CDO -- it's designed to ensure that we bring the latest innovations and technologies to all our client solutions," explained Mark O'Brien, president of DDB North America.

DDB management obviously hopes Sackett will be a huge help in revamping and enhancing the shop's image, which has taken a big hit in recent years. "In the last few months, we've taken major steps towards transforming this agency into the creative shop Ewan (Paterson) and I want it to be," added O'Brien.

In the past, however, DDB has not always had great luck holding on to hotshot talent from hotshot shops in other markets. In 2005, David Rolfe joined DDB from Crispin Porter + Bogusky as director of branded production. Rolfe's tenure was relatively brief before he abruptly decided to return to Crispin.

3 Comments

lewis, do you think you can try to give these guys some credit and positive support for trying to turn the ddb ship around instead of constantly reminding your readers of their past failures? i'm part of the ad community in this town, and anybody who understands this business knows that all of the chicago ad community benefits when ddb and burnett, the agencies everyone loves to hate, are successful. your negativity, especially for ddb, is hackneyed & tiresome.

I agree - After all of this time, isn't there a different dead horse to beat?
We all get your point of view regarding ddb. It is an old tune. Find some new notes. If change is so easy, why don't you do it?

Mr. Lazare makes a good point. For years now, DDB has been introducing one person after another as the solution for Chicago. Dana Anderson. Michael Folino. Paul Tilley. Rick Carpenter. And now Ewan Patterson and Sackett. Each previous time, they refused to change the many things wrong with the agency--things that have shrunk the agency by over 50% in the past 5 years. Their problems are endemic--like Burnett they are a big, slow old-school agency in the new world. They need to keep making changes for another year or two before anything will really change.

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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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This page contains a single entry by Lewis Lazare published on March 4, 2011 10:39 AM.

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