Wieden veteran set to help run London shop

Wieden & Kennedy is expected to bring over one of the top creative directors from its headquarters in Portland, Oregon, to head up its new London office, which is due to open on 1 April next year.

Wieden & Kennedy is expected to bring over one of the top creative

directors from its headquarters in Portland, Oregon, to head up its new

London office, which is due to open on 1 April next year.



Either Susan Hoffman or Jim Riswold is expected to take up the

position.



The new office, which will report to Wielden & Kennedy in Portland, will

initially concentrate on the pounds 7 million Nike UK business Wieden &

Kennedy won from TBWA Simons Palmer last week (see page 4). But the

agency also works with Microsoft - handled in the UK by Euro RSCG Wnek

Gosper - and Coca-Cola.



Hoffman and Dave Luhr, the director of client services in Portland, have

already made several trips to London to recruit senior staff. Mike

Perry, who worked on the account at Simons Palmer before leaving to set

up Headlight Vision, has been approached about the managing director’s

role, but is thought to have turned it down.



The agency hopes the bulk of new staff will come from London shops.

Initially, ten people will be hired, including creative, account

planning, account management and production staff.



’This is not part of some gigantic global vision,’ Dan Wieden, president

of Wieden & Kennedy, said.



’This is about a London vision.’



A Nike UK statement said: ’Nike has had a 15-year relationship with

Wieden & Kennedy in the US, and its arrival in London provides the

sports company with the opportunity to generate fresh and exciting work

which will take the brand to a new level.’



Wieden & Kennedy did not make a creative pitch for the UK business, but

has been in serious discussions with Nike about setting up in London

since August. By taking the bulk of its staff from local agencies, W&K

hopes to satisfy Nike’s demand for fresh talent to work on its UK

business.



Wieden & Kennedy has also staved off the threat from other London

agencies, particularly St Luke’s and WCRS, which have both come close to

winning the Nike UK business in recent weeks.



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