BBH Taps AgencyTwoFifteen's John Patroulis as Creative Chief

Departure Comes as AgencyTwoFifteen Merges With McCann San Francisco

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Bartle Bogle Hegarty has plucked John Patroulis, co-founder and executive creative director of Interpublic Group of Cos.' AgencyTwoFifteen in San Francisco, to serve as chief creative officer of its New York office. The move comes as McCann CEO Nick Brien has realigned AgencyTwoFifteen, which was formerly known as T.A.G. San Francisco, and merged it with McCann's San Francisco operations.

John Patroulis
John Patroulis

For Publicis Groupe -backed BBH, the hire fills a post that has been vacant since last fall. Mr. Patroulis succeeds Kevin Roddy, who is now chief creative officer at Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco.

"Obviously they've got a great creative legacy, and that is a big appeal," Mr. Patroulis told Ad Age of his decision to move to BBH. "Their digital offering is growing, I like their collection of clients and it's great for the creative teams to have an opportunity to work on technology and soda and body spray ... variety is always important."

He added that , on a personal level, moving to the opposite coast was an appealing decision for him. "New York City itself is a big draw," said Mr. Patroulis, who has lived in the city before and has family in the Big Apple. Before AgencyTwoFifteen, Mr. Patroulis spent time at N.W. Ayer and TBWA/Chiat/Day.

It's unclear when he'll actually be able to begin his new job, though; currently Mr. Patroulis is in the midst of negotiating his exit from Interpublic and AgencyTwoFifteen.

"I put a lot of work into that place and it feels good to leave a place when it's doing so well," Mr. Patroulis said. "These are people that I care about."

"John represents everything we were looking for in our creative leadership," Greg Andersen, CEO of BBH, New York, said in a statement. "He has incredibly progressive views on building modern brands and the modern agency, coupled with a diligent care for the craft that separates good work from great work."

At the same time as Mr. Patroulis comes aboard as head creative at the office, senior creative Calle Sjoenell is being promoted to the new role of deputy CCO. Mr. Sjoenell, whose most recent title was executive creative director, helms the team responsible for the office's biggest client, Google, and partners with Google Creative Lab.

BBH's other clients in New York include Axe, Johnnie Walker and Sprite. It recently lost the Ally Bank account to WPP's Grey .

Mr. Patroulis' departure from AgencyTwoFifteen is certainly a setback for the agency. It's been a successful, boutique offering for key Interpublic client Microsoft, and Mr. Patroulis was behind the award-winning global Xbox work, including the lauded "Halo 3: Believe" campaign.

His exit coincides with AgencyTwoFifteen again changing its name. It will now be called TwoFifteen McCann, and it will merge with McCann's San Francisco office with the TwoFifteen leadership now running the joint agency. That leadership includes Managing Director Mike Parsons, Chief Strategy Officer Mike Harris and Chief Creative Officer Scott Duchon.

"There's only going to be one organization, and they're going to consolidate," McCann CEO Nick Brien told Ad Age . When asked why AgencyTwoFifteen was once again being identified with McCann after the agency just recently went through a rebranding exercise that it hoped would help it stand apart from the network, he said: "That was before they saw and believed and understood my commitment to creative excellence at McCann."

As a result of the moves it's unclear whether the two executives who were overseeing McCann in San Francisco, Robert Leplae and Curt Detweiler, are being rejiggered. Mr. Leplae will likely continue to focus on the Los Angeles office and elsewhere in North America, while with Mr. Detweiler, "we're working out what other global client responsibilities he'll have but he won't be responsible for the San Francisco office," Mr. Brien said.

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