Campbell Ewald President Kevin Wertz Adds CEO Title, Succeeding Ousted Executive

Comes Several Months After Interpublic Group Fired CEO Jim Palmer

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Kevin Wertz
Kevin Wertz

Campbell Ewald President Kevin Wertz has added CEO to his title, succeeding former CEO Jim Palmer, who was fired by parent company Interpublic Group in January.

Mr. Wertz, who has been leading the shop since Mr. Palmer's exit, will assume the CEO role immediately. Mr. Wertz has been with Campbell Ewald since 2007, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was not immediately available for comment.

Mr. Palmer's dismissal followed an employee's memo announcing "Ghetto Day in the SA" to Campbell Ewald staffers, according to a copy that appeared on AgencySpy. The memo, which included a photo of two African American men, encouraged "ghetto music, malt 45's and ghetto terminology," as well as legal drugs and prostitution for the day.

Mr. Palmer didn't immediately terminate the creative director who sent the note and didn't tell the leadership team at IPG, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. When IPG found out, the creative director who issued the memo was immediately terminated. A few days later, IPG said it had also "terminated" Mr. Palmer.

Jo Shoesmith
Jo Shoesmith

In addition to Mr. Wertz's appointment, Campbell Ewald has named Jo Shoesmith chief creative officer, effective immediately. Ms. Shoesmith, the first female chief creative officer in Campbell Ewald's 105-year history, succeeds Chief Creative Officer Mark Simon, who has been with the shop for 16 years. She will report to Mr. Wertz and manage creative across all Campbell Ewald offices.

Ms. Shoesmith, who joined the agency last year from Leo Burnett Chicago, is also the first chief creative officer at Campbell Ewald to be based outside of the Detroit office.

Earlier this month, USAA account parted ways with Campbell-Ewald because of the racist memo scandal and hired MullenLowe to take over the account.

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