Wieden & Kennedy is expected to bring over one of the top creative
directors from its headquarters in Portland, Oregon, to head up its new
London office, which is due to open on 1 April next year.
Either Susan Hoffman or Jim Riswold is expected to take up the
The new office, which will report to Wielden & Kennedy in Portland, will
initially concentrate on the pounds 7 million Nike UK business Wieden &
Kennedy won from TBWA Simons Palmer last week (see page 4). But the
agency also works with Microsoft - handled in the UK by Euro RSCG Wnek
Gosper - and Coca-Cola.
Hoffman and Dave Luhr, the director of client services in Portland, have
already made several trips to London to recruit senior staff. Mike
Perry, who worked on the account at Simons Palmer before leaving to set
up Headlight Vision, has been approached about the managing director’s
role, but is thought to have turned it down.
The agency hopes the bulk of new staff will come from London shops.
Initially, ten people will be hired, including creative, account
planning, account management and production staff.
’This is not part of some gigantic global vision,’ Dan Wieden, president
of Wieden & Kennedy, said.
’This is about a London vision.’
A Nike UK statement said: ’Nike has had a 15-year relationship with
Wieden & Kennedy in the US, and its arrival in London provides the
sports company with the opportunity to generate fresh and exciting work
which will take the brand to a new level.’
Wieden & Kennedy did not make a creative pitch for the UK business, but
has been in serious discussions with Nike about setting up in London
since August. By taking the bulk of its staff from local agencies, W&K
hopes to satisfy Nike’s demand for fresh talent to work on its UK
Wieden & Kennedy has also staved off the threat from other London
agencies, particularly St Luke’s and WCRS, which have both come close to
winning the Nike UK business in recent weeks.