Maher Bird Associates has promoted Graham Kerr to the position of chairman in addition to his existing role as the creative director.
Kerr will work alongside the chief executive, Stephen Maher, the managing director, Graham Monk, and the MBA board, as well as continuing with his existing duties.
Maher said: 'This recognises Kerr's significant contribution to MBA's success to date. Importantly, it recognises the creative heart of this agency and the key role I believe that he will play in the continued stewardship of this business.'
'It's quite an unusual thing for creative directors to be chairmen,' Kerr said. 'I deal with everybody in the agency every day. I have a feel for the vibe. I'm not going to do the pinstripe suits and big fat cigar thing.'
Looking after the well-being of the agency will be Kerr's main job. 'Clients will see that I am driving the agency,' he said. 'It also shows how importantly Steve and Graham view the creative department.'
Kerr denies that his promotion signals that a replacement creative director will be brought in. 'That has never been on the agenda - it has not been discussed. Last year we had a great new-business run, but this year we want to ramp up the creative reputation,' he said.
Kerr joined MBA in its first year in 1994 as art director from Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper. He took up the reins as the creative director in 1997, after Maher had ousted the remaining co-founders and the then creative directors, Phil Bird and Steve Deput.