Shaun McIlrath and Ian Harding, FCA!’s executive creative director
pairing of nine years’ standing, have quit the agency.
The highly acclaimed duo have yet to announce plans of their next move,
but they are said to be pursuing options in the new-media arena.
As part of a reshuffle spurred by their departure, Samantha Smith, the
managing director and former new-business director of the agency, has
left by mutual agreement. It is thought that she will move to a job with
another agency, rather than go back to her roots on the client side.
McIlrath and Harding’s shoes will be filled by Giles Keeble, the former
creative director of Leo Burnett and McBain Noel Johnson, and who is now
the creative director of FCA!’s sister agency, Publicis Technology.
McIlrath and Harding will work out the rest of their notice, leaving the
agency in August. McIlrath said: ’We joined the agency when it was a
ten-man direct marketing shop and have seen some great talent.
FCA!’s creative department is the strongest it has ever been and the
teams are talented enough to win awards in all disciplines long after we
It is thought the pair will announce their next move within a month.
’We have won 250 awards since our arrival, and are probably the only
team that has won awards in every discipline, from media and direct to
advertising,’ McIlrath continued. ’The creative canvas has been widened
through the internet and today’s environment is ideally suited to our
Mike Wade, the chief executive of FCA!, said: ’We are very sorry to see
them leave. We tried our best to keep them but they want to spread their
FCA! has been beset by problems over the past year due to mergers and
personnel changes. A Publicis-dictated merger with half of Publicis
Technology caused a number of departures last year, including that of
the chief executive, Chris Parry.
His replacement, Mike Croft, from Publicis Technology, only lasted a few
months amid speculation that he and the group chairman, Rick Bendel, had
had a disagreement over FCA!’s direction.