This week, in the manner of a Judd Apatow movie, The Martin Agency got its man. More than a year after going public about its London launch, the Interpublic shop has appointed Adam & Eve/DDB’s Dan Fisher as its first executive creative director.
Joe Alexander, the chief creative officer at Martin, says he has been speaking to Fisher for ten months and is full of praise for his "amazing book".
However, Alexander says the most important thing was his personality and ability to work with other people to bring ideas to life. Both Alexander and Matt Williams, the chief executive, sound genuinely ecstatic about luring Fisher in.
The fact that Fisher was considering other opportunities has been an open secret since Adam & Eve/DDB promoted his partner, Richard Brim, to executive creative director and him to deputy. I understand Fisher actually accepted a job as the sales and marketing director at a small energy company earlier this year before deciding against it to remain at Adam & Eve/DDB for the time being.
In Martin London, Fisher now has a real opportunity to show what he can do on his own. After all, Fisher and Brim have been very successful as a team. They were responsible for John Lewis’ "Monty the penguin" Christmas campaign, which picked up a Grand Prix and two golds at Cannes this year, and the 2013 "sorry, I spent it on myself" stormer for Harvey Nichols. But in promoting Brim and not Fisher, the Adam & Eve/DDB founders made their bet.
No-one could deny the 50-year-old Martin has a great creative pedigree. That was evident in the Palais just this year, when its "unskippable" pre-roll ad for Geico picked up a Film Grand Prix at the expense of Wieden & Kennedy’s brilliant "the other side" for Honda. But a history of success in the US is not enough, as Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Droga5 have found over the past few years.
Alexander and Williams claim they’re doing something slightly different in that the London outpost will be linked quite tightly with the Richmond and New York offices. This means they will share talent in order to get the best work for clients. Whereas Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Droga5 have tried to develop autonomous agencies, Martin London’s umbilical cord will remain unsevered.
The shop is still a way off the ten to 15 people it said it would have by the end of last summer but, with the creative leadership question sorted, Martin London can now get going.
If only it were that simple. But it’s a start.