Amid a welter of terribly important-sounding job titles, and on the
day (Thursday) some agencies dump stories to avoid Campaign, Ammirati
Puris Lintas unveiled its latest creative director. Or did it?
Wasn’t that the case the previous week when Andrew Cracknell’s departure
appeared to be the cue for Nick Welch to come out of his shadow. But no,
this week the poison chalice of APL London passed to Steve Rabosky.
’Steve who?’ was the knee-jerk reaction. You’d think if there was one
thing little old London has a-plenty, it’s senior creative
I wish we could have printed the press release, because the ’spin’
therein was a joy to behold.
’Chris Thomas announces new management line-up’ was the headline. And
there we were only last week thinking William Eccleshare had just got
the top job.
At least he got the last line, ’Chris and Steve will make a formidable
team. A great creative force for the agency.’ Can you spin through
Rabosky’s title will be chief creative officer because there’s already
an executive creative director, Welch, ’who’ll work closely with Rabosky
to ensure the best creative solution and product is delivered to APL’s
clients’. It’s one of the more realistic mission statements I’ve
But two lines later, Welch has lost the ’executive’ bit, and is now
merely creative director on Rover. Ah, but it’s easy to mock, especially
when you’ve been spun all day.
Who said the following about whom, and when? ’Rob is a fine art director
but has not delivered the quality of management we need. Allan will
bring management experience and creative ambition.’ That was April 1994
when APL was SPL, Thomas was played by Richard Hytner, Welch by Rob
Kitchen, and Rabosky was the Australian actor, sorry creative director,
By January 1996, Andrew Cracknell was expressing his sadness that Crew
had resigned the week after his (Cracknell’s) appointment.
Hytner had resigned the week before. (Do keep up at the back-bonus
points if you can place Kitchen, Crew, Mike Court, Ced Vidler, Malcolm
Gluck and Dave Horry in chronological order.)
More seriously, Rabosky has an impressive CV including a 13-year spell
at TBWA/Chiat Day working on the likes of Nike, Nissan, Pizza Hut and
Sony. He was also one of the 176-strong creative team who appear to have
created the ’1984’ Apple Macintosh ad.
More recently, he joined APL where he has worked on Unilever. This is
the key to his appointment. London is now being forced to recognise that
a local creative director can achieve only so much on what is not local
Rabosky’s is a big challenge. Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Ogilvy & Mather and,
in particular, Mother have all created excellent work on former APL
Unilever brands. Why didn’t APL do it? Was the agency given the chance?
If not, why not?
Despite the above facetiousness, we wish him well. Don’t damn him
because he’s not a Brit. But it will be difficult for him to convince
potential new talent that he is here to stay, and determined to get
better work out of the agency’s dominant client.
Anyone recall Jim Satterthwaite?