Ex-Saatchis duo move to Publicis

Publicis has hired Saatchi & Saatchi's former executive creative director Adam Kean and Alex Taylor, its ex-head of art, to help it sustain its place among the top-ranking UK agencies.

Their appointment reflects Publicis' widening client base, augmented last year by the arrival of the Army recruitment account - with which Kean was closely associated at Saatchis - and the Post Office's £10 million brand-building assignment.

They will be among the six Publicis group creative directors reporting to the executive creative director, Gerry Moira. He will retain day-to-day control of the creative department, allowing the new arrivals to work on specific major projects.

"Gerry's department is full of grown-ups, not juniors needing to be managed,

Grant Duncan, the Publicis managing director, said. "This is a response to the increasing number of clients wanting to deal with top creatives. It also gives us an option to make greater use of Gerry on pitches, at which he's very good."

The move of Kean and Taylor to Publicis follows what have been less than happy periods for both since leaving the Charlotte Street agency. Kean quit at the end of 1998 rather than face demotion with the arrival of Dave Droga to take creative command.

He later joined Wieden & Kennedy as creative director but left after six months because of what was said to have been a strained relationship with the agency's owner, Dan Wieden.

He resumed his partnership with Taylor, begun in 1993, at Lowe, where the two freelanced for seven months. Taylor earlier spent a short spell as a director with The Paul Weiland Film Company.

"We really enjoyed working together again and decided to look for a permanent job,

Kean said. "Publicis seems to have a momentum and, as its network expands, there's a real swagger about it. Our task will be to make the creative work famous."

Moira said: "I've always been an admirer of what Adam and Alex achieved at Saatchis and was mystified by Adam's departure. They've both wanted to get back into a big agency and this is a marriage made in heaven."

Between them, Kean and Taylor have a string of Cannes, British Television and Campaign awards to their credit. However, Moira confirmed Kean would not be renewing his association with the Army account which brought him three D&AD pencils while at Saatchis.