GLOBAL BRIEF: Fallons reinvigorates NY arm - The agency has appointed Jamie Barrett to increase NY clout, Emma Hall states

Despite an excellent worldwide reputation and nearly 20 years in business, Fallon McElligott has struggled to export its idiosyncratic style to create a successful base outside of its Minneapolis home.

Despite an excellent worldwide reputation and nearly 20 years in

business, Fallon McElligott has struggled to export its idiosyncratic

style to create a successful base outside of its Minneapolis home.



New York has been a particular stumbling block. But last week’s

announcement that Jamie Barrett will join Fallon McElligott New York

City as its creative director is being hailed as the long-awaited signal

that, after more than three years of trying, Fallons finally has the

making of a New York office it can be proud of. Accounts handled there

include Time and Fortune magazines, the financial services company,

Conseco, and Nikon.



The first barrier to expansion out of Minneapolis was extreme caution.

Pat Fallon, the agency’s chairman, admits: ’I am very careful, almost to

the point of being frozen - I’m a quality control freak. In the

beginning, I thought the world was going to fall apart because I

couldn’t see what was going on on the second floor.’



Yet he still entrusted the precious Fallons brand to the wrong people

and there have been a couple of false starts - most notably, the

majority-owned joint venture, Fallon McElligott Berlin, which disbanded

last year.



But now Fallon is content that the New York office is run by ad

professionals who have Fallons in their blood.



Barrett, a copywriter, began his career at Fallons in 1985, but he is

best known for his eight years at Wieden & Kennedy, where he was the

lead creative director on the Nike account and has been responsible for

most of Nike’s Michael Jordan ads over the past three years.



Barrett says: ’The Fallon McElligott brand was the key factor in making

my decision. It’s about people and values and partnerships with the

right list of blue-chip clients.’ Fallon adds: ’It is gratifying to know

that like-minded people can withstand the test of time and separation. I

am confident in his ability to lead and inspire.’



Bill Westbrook, who has been acting as the creative director in New York

since the agency ended its joint venture just over a year ago, will now

concentrate on expansion abroad.



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