Amid a welter of terribly important-sounding job titles, and on the day (Thursday) some agencies dump stories to avoid Campaign, Ammirati Puris Lintas unveiled its latest creative director. Or did it?

Amid a welter of terribly important-sounding job titles, and on the

day (Thursday) some agencies dump stories to avoid Campaign, Ammirati

Puris Lintas unveiled its latest creative director. Or did it?

Wasn’t that the case the previous week when Andrew Cracknell’s departure

appeared to be the cue for Nick Welch to come out of his shadow. But no,

this week the poison chalice of APL London passed to Steve Rabosky.

’Steve who?’ was the knee-jerk reaction. You’d think if there was one

thing little old London has a-plenty, it’s senior creative


I wish we could have printed the press release, because the ’spin’

therein was a joy to behold.

’Chris Thomas announces new management line-up’ was the headline. And

there we were only last week thinking William Eccleshare had just got

the top job.

At least he got the last line, ’Chris and Steve will make a formidable

team. A great creative force for the agency.’ Can you spin through

gritted teeth?

Rabosky’s title will be chief creative officer because there’s already

an executive creative director, Welch, ’who’ll work closely with Rabosky

to ensure the best creative solution and product is delivered to APL’s

clients’. It’s one of the more realistic mission statements I’ve


But two lines later, Welch has lost the ’executive’ bit, and is now

merely creative director on Rover. Ah, but it’s easy to mock, especially

when you’ve been spun all day.

Who said the following about whom, and when? ’Rob is a fine art director

but has not delivered the quality of management we need. Allan will

bring management experience and creative ambition.’ That was April 1994

when APL was SPL, Thomas was played by Richard Hytner, Welch by Rob

Kitchen, and Rabosky was the Australian actor, sorry creative director,

Al Crew.

By January 1996, Andrew Cracknell was expressing his sadness that Crew

had resigned the week after his (Cracknell’s) appointment.

Hytner had resigned the week before. (Do keep up at the back-bonus

points if you can place Kitchen, Crew, Mike Court, Ced Vidler, Malcolm

Gluck and Dave Horry in chronological order.)

More seriously, Rabosky has an impressive CV including a 13-year spell

at TBWA/Chiat Day working on the likes of Nike, Nissan, Pizza Hut and

Sony. He was also one of the 176-strong creative team who appear to have

created the ’1984’ Apple Macintosh ad.

More recently, he joined APL where he has worked on Unilever. This is

the key to his appointment. London is now being forced to recognise that

a local creative director can achieve only so much on what is not local


Rabosky’s is a big challenge. Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Ogilvy & Mather and,

in particular, Mother have all created excellent work on former APL

Unilever brands. Why didn’t APL do it? Was the agency given the chance?

If not, why not?

Despite the above facetiousness, we wish him well. Don’t damn him

because he’s not a Brit. But it will be difficult for him to convince

potential new talent that he is here to stay, and determined to get

better work out of the agency’s dominant client.

Anyone recall Jim Satterthwaite?


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