FCB Names Karin Onsager-Birch West Coast Creative Chief

Goodby Veteran Returns To States from WPP's Blue Hive in London

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Interpublic's FCB has named Karin Onsager-Birch as the new chief creative officer of the agency's San Francisco and Los Angeles outposts.

Karin Onsager-Birch
Karin Onsager-Birch

The West Coast slot had been vacant since Eric Springer left the post last summer. Ms. Onsager-Birch's appointment follows the recent hire of a new chief creative, Eric Cosper, for the agency's New York office, FCB Garfinkel.

Dominic Whittles, CEO of FCB West, which includes the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, said that Ms. Onsager-Birch was chosen because her "leadership style is substantive and direct, she's open minded and solution-oriented, she's clear about her point of view and very forthright." He added that given her tenure overseas, Ms. Onsager-Birch has global experience that "allows her to draw on a much larger source code of information."

At FCB West, Ms. Onsager-Birch will oversee creative on accounts including global Levi's work, an account that was won with Richard Pinder's House Worldwide in early 2014; Levi's Dockers brand; EA Games; Trulia; Eli Lilly; and chocolate brand Ghirardelli. The Los Angeles office also handles point-of-sale work for Taco Bell. In all, FCB West has about 60 employees.

Prior to FCB, Ms. Onsager-Birch had been chief creative officer at WPP's Blue Hive in London -- an agency similar to Team Detroit in the U.S.-- where she worked on the holding company's all-important Ford account.

Ms. Onsager-Birch, who will be based in San Francisco, said that she wanted to move to FCB because globally, the agency has "interesting momentum since they rebranded themselves," changing its name from DraftFCB to FCB in early 2014, a move by then-new CEO Carter Murray to reinvigorate the agency. "FCB as a network is a very intriguing place right now," she said.

For Ms. Onsager-Birch, it's a return to San Francisco. She moved to Blue Hive in 2012 after 17 years at Omnicom's Goodby Silverstein & Partners, where she held a number of titles, working her way up from art director to creative director. At Goodby, she worked on Kayak.com, HP, Hyundai, Chevrolet, Nintendo, eBay, Haagen-Dazs, Nike, Porsche, Adobe, Banana Republic, among others.

"The momentum of San Francisco and the clients at FCB is inspiring from a business perspective," she added. "San Francisco is such a hub of innovation and is at the forefront of business."

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