Eric Silver, former owner and chief creative officer of New York-based Silver & Partners, has joined McCann as regional chief creative officer of North America. Mr. Silver confirmed his agency will close along with his departure, and he is in the process of transitioning clients and staff.
The appointment marks Mr. Silver's return to the big-agency world. Mr. Silver previously served as chief creative officer at Omnicom's DDB New York and as an exec creative director at BBDO New York, where he led work for FedEx, Monster and the BBC. In 2010 he resigned from DDB to take a majority ownership stake in indie shop Amalgamated New York, which then became Silver & Partners. Mr. Silver had served as chief creative officer at DDB for a little over a year before the agency replaced him with Matt Eastwood, moving him into a new-business role.
"Silver and Partners / Amalgamated was such a rewarding experience and I'm so proud of what we accomplished there," said Mr. Silver via email. "We did a few Super Bowl commercials, we got tons of recognition for our social efforts, and we made the Ad Age A List. In December, we won a couple of AOR accounts, one of which will follow me. With all that said, in talking to Rob [Reilly, McCann Worldgroup global creative chairman] about what this could be, it's just too interesting to pass up -- to work on something of this scale. There will be some challenges for sure, but what a fantastic opportunity, surrounded by some pretty great people."
"Eric is a 'badass' creative talent," said Mr. Reilly in a statement. "With the momentum we are having here in the States, especially New York, the timing couldn't be better for him to join."
Mr. Silver is known for his offbeat sense of humor, evident in his former shop's Super Bowl 2014 work for Carmax, which riffed off that famous '80s cliche of the slow clap. The agency was also behind a moving stunt for the New York Rescue Mission that opened people's eyes to the plight of the less fortunate by disguising their family members as homeless city dwellers. Mr. Silver also made his creative mark on campaigns for ESPN and Nike campaigns out of Wieden & Kennedy and work out of storied ad shop Cliff Freeman and Partners, including the big game classic "Gerbils," for Outpost.com. Mr. Silver had also served as a writer on the "Late Show With David Letterman."
When Mr. Silver left DDB, he applied his comedy to a terse resignation letter, on which he scrawled a short note and sketched out the Van Halen logo.
The appointment of Mr. Silver follows several other top creative hires by Mr. Reilly over the last year, including the appointments of James Dawson-Hollis and Bill Wright and the promotion of John Mescall to the roles of global executive creative directors.