J. Walter Thompson began the long-awaited revamp of its creative
department this week - involving both appointments and redundancies - as
it attempts to kick-start its creative offering.
The restructure started last Thursday morning when Jaspar Shelbourne,
JWT’s executive creative director, made nine members of the creative
Senior hirings planned to strengthen the department are understood to
include Russell Ramsay and John O’Keeffe, currently senior creatives at
Bartle Bogle Hegarty. However, O’Keeffe and Shelbourne both refused to
comment as Campaign went to press. Two more signings are expected in the
Meanwhile, Richard Phillips, who heads the production company, R. J.
Phillips & Co and who is a former senior JWT creative, will be on hand
to offer freelance advice. Phillips denied he was returning to the
agency as an employee but admitted he may give freelance support. ’There
is no truth in any rumour that I am returning to the employment of JWT.
I am directing ads through R. J. Phillips & Co. Like other directors who
have been copywriters or art directors in the past, I am occasionally
asked to give freelance creative help. I may, if asked on a strictly
freelance basis, do more of the same,’ he said.
Separately, Ian Hutton, a veteran creative of 30 years, has decided to
retire. Hutton is best remembered for the ’tasty tasty’ campaign for
Kellogg’s Bran Flakes. Shelbourne commented: ’Ian was a fantastically
prolific writer but was as modest as he was talented. He has contributed
as much as anyone to Thompsons’ work and will be sadly missed.’
Stephen Carter, JWT’s chief executive, announced his intention to shake
up the agency - with a particular emphasis on the creative department -
after his appointment last October.