Lowe Lintas is putting together a new top team by hiring the award-winning art director Damon Collins to partner Tony Barry, Weiden & Kennedy's former deputy creative chief.
The pair will report directly to Charles Inge, Lowe Lintas' executive creative director, and will work across a range of the agency's accounts.
"I've been aware of their work for more than ten years and it's exciting to put them together,' Inge said. 'They haven't worked together before but they're good friends. I approached Tony and he was keen to try the partnership."
The hirings mark the end of Collins' pairing with the writer Mary Wear, which spans 15 years and five agencies, the most recent being Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. Wear remains at AMV.
The hirings are also in line with Inge's efforts to bolster the agency's creative offering in the wake of the merger last autumn between Lowe Howard-Spink and Ammirati Puris Lintas.
"We have lots of famous brands that demand famous advertising," Inge said.
The partnership of Collins and Wear, both former Campaign Faces to Watch, began when they were on a copywriting course at Hounslow College, and has resulted in a string of awards as Collins dropped writing to become an art director.
Their agency careers began at FCB but they made their names working for Dave Trott at the then Gold Greenlees Trott.
After a brief stint as deputy creative directors of the now defunct Leagas Shafron Davis, they joined Saatchi & Saatchi as creative group heads in 1991, collecting four Campaign silver awards for British Airways press ads.
Four years later, David Abbott poached them for AMV, where they produced award-winning work for the RSPCA and Yellow Pages. Their Health Education Council anti-smoking campaign featuring a blusher brush in an ashtray was a winner at Cannes.
Barry, who left Weiden's problem-plagued London operation in August, having turned down the opportunity to work in Portland, is best known for his work on Nike and M&C Saatchi's 'catisfaction' campaign for Whiskas.