INTERNATIONAL: THE DECISION MAKERS/LOGAN WILMOTT - For one Irishman, Kirshenbaum Bond is home from home/Logan Wilmott, its creative head, loves the US but misses friendly UK agency life, Anna Griffiths says

Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners is one of those agencies in New York that people have heard of, but aren’t always sure why. But with the arrival of Logan Wilmott as creative and associate director, with his Belfast twang, confident swagger and urchin looks, Kirshenbaum Bond hopes to impress on people’s memories its growing array of clients.

Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners is one of those agencies in New York

that people have heard of, but aren’t always sure why. But with the

arrival of Logan Wilmott as creative and associate director, with his

Belfast twang, confident swagger and urchin looks, Kirshenbaum Bond

hopes to impress on people’s memories its growing array of clients.



This is Wilmott’s sixth agency since 1981, when he kicked off his career

as an art director at BMP DDB and it’s his third move on the New York

circuit. Sitting in a hotel overlooking Covent Garden, Wilmott confesses

that he misses London. ’The business in London is friendly and

interactive - you don’t get that in New York. I also miss that

unquestioned belief that a creative solution is a valid solution.

Sometimes in New York you wonder whether that’s the case. It’s a

business that uses creativity but in London it is a creative

business.’



Wilmott was lured by Kirshenbaum Bond from the large US agency, Messner

Vetere Berger MacNamee Schmetterer, where he was a creative

director.



Although he felt it was time to move on, he had to be persuaded that the

job at Kirshenbaum Bond was right for him. ’I talked with Kirshenbaum

Bond for a while, and at first I didn’t think they wanted someone as

senior as me (I sound arrogant, but I don’t mean it like that). The more

I talked, I realised they wanted to make the transition from a very

good, small media shop to a very good, medium-sized one. It’s US small,

with 215 people.’



Wilmott believes that Kirshenbaum Bond shares his passion for

creativity.



’The agency is 11 years old, but from day one it has been creatively

driven. It has passion, whereas in the US it’s very easy to make it dry.

One of the reasons I was hired was to help with the agency’s broadcast

output to give it quality and scale.’ The agency gained a valuable

foothold on the Coca-Cola roster in April. It also has a sister agency

in San Francisco and works on accounts such as Olympus, Prudential

Healthcare and Rockport.



The word ’precocious’ neatly sums up Wilmott’s early years. At the

tender age of 25 he became a founding partner and the joint creative

director of Still Price Court Twivy D’Souza. He was reunited with Mike

Court, who had worked with him before at TBWA, and together they won

awards for their campaigns for Brooke Bond Red Mountain and Mates

condoms. Five years later, Still Price merged with Lintas and Wilmott

moved on to Young & Rubicam as the executive creative director alongside

Court. In February 1992 he was pushed aside by a new management team

because of reservations about his ability to run a creative department.

Wilmott remains sanguine about the past. ’The job at Y&R was one I never

thought I’d end up doing. I don’t think I was mature enough to do the

job and I didn’t want to play by the rules.’



Wilmott can’t be too bitter about Y&R because it made a valuable

contribution to his personal life. He sheepishly admits that his wife,

Beth, was his PA at the company. After leaving Y&R, he spent 14 months

travelling around the world. ’I went away and couldn’t work out whether

I wanted to go back.



When I came back to London, I realised that advertising was great.’ He

returned to a country in recession, and after doing some freelance,

decided to try his luck in the US, where he joined the New York

start-up, Merkley Newman Harty. He found it hard-going at first and was

ready to jack it in after six months, but he stayed on for two years,

before moving to Messner Vetere Berger MacNamee Schmetterer.



Proud of his Irish roots, Wilmott has not picked up an Atlantic timbre

in his voice. His enthusiasm for New York, however, is boundless. ’Being

Irish in New York is fantastic, they truly embrace you. I feel more me

in New York than in London.’ But Wilmott is determined that he will some

day return to London. ’I’d like to have my own agency, but there’s no

reason why Kirshenbaum Bond in London couldn’t become my agency!’



FACT FILE

1981

art director, BMP DDB

1982

art director, TBWA

1985

head of art, Still Price Court Twivy D’Souza becoming joint executive

creative director in 1986

1990

joint executive creative director, Young & Rubicam

1992

travels around the world, then freelances

1994

creative director, Merkley Newman Harty

1996

creative director, Messner Vetere Berger MacNamee Schmetterer

1998

creative and associate director, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners



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