Top FCA! creative duo quit agency

Shaun McIlrath and Ian Harding, FCA!’s executive creative director pairing of nine years’ standing, have quit the agency.

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

have gone.’



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

skills.’



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

wings.’



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.



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