Kerry Keenan has been appointed chief creative officer and partner at Deutsch, New York.
When she starts on September 30, Ms. Keenan -- whose ad career has taken her through big agencies such as BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi and Y&R -- will take over the CCO position that's been occupied by Greg DiNoto for the past four years.
Mr. DiNoto joined the Interpublic Group of Cos. shop in 2009 amidst its merger with Lowe (which has since been undone) and he closed up his own agency to take on the post. It was the second time he'd worked there. "Greg has been a great contributor in both tours of duty at Deutsch and we fully support and wish him great success in his next chapter," said New York office CEO Val DiFebo in a statement. That chapter has not yet been defined.
Asked why the Interpublic Group of Cos.' agency made the change, Ms. DiFebo said she was confident Ms. Keenan could help elevate the level of creative output for the shop, which works with clients such as GoDaddy, MilkPEP, Microsoft and PNC Bank.
"We were looking for someone who is brave and passionate about exploring consumer touch points and at the same time has a highly acclaimed creative pedigree," said Ms. DiFebo. She added: "We believe Kerry will be a strong addition to the team…a highly regarded and respected creative, Kerry has what it takes to create a groundswell of growth and brand building work for our clients."
The work she's best known for is for JCPenney, Procter & Gamble and Crest -- the latter for which Ms. Keenan brought home a Cannes Gold Lion, in 2008. Most recently, Ms. Keenan was working at a branded content company she co-founded with Emmy-winning producer Nathy Aviram. The outfit is called Half Irish. Before that, she cruised through big adland shops, including BBDO, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi Bozell and Y&R. At WPP's Y&R, she became one of the few women to ever hold a senior global creative post.
Female creative leadership is a big thorn in the ad industry's side; the knock, particularly amongst the shops, is that the women aren't valued in seniormost roles. But at Deutsch she joins a team of well-established female leaders, including longtime Deutsch Inc. North America CEO Linda Sawyer and Ms. DiFebo.
"I have always admired Deutsch's distinct and entrepreneurial culture," said Ms. Keenan in a statement. "The partners are a group of smart, fun, and super passionate people who genuinely like each other and will roll up their sleeves and push each other to make the work great. I can't wait to be a part of it."
Experience, Managerial Skills
The creative changes at Deutsch's New York office follow major creative changes made by the shop's Los Angeles operation. Earlier this month, it hired former Arnold Chief Creative Officer Pete Favat.
Mr. Favat had spent 14 years at Havas-owned Arnold, so, similar to the hire of Ms. Keenan, the agency emphasized it was looking for experienced talent over young, flashy digital stars.
"The timing of the hiring of two new Chief Creative Officers in such close proximity is simply coincidental," said Ms. Sawyer in an email. "Our NY and LA management teams run autonomously given the size and stature of both offices. We looked for candidates that are strong, well rounded athletes. Our clients demand skill sets that run deep and broad given the complexity of the work we do for them. And having strong leadership and managerial qualities is paramount to being able to manage the breadth of capabilities we offer and the deep resources associated with it. It's a tall order but both Pete and Kerry fit the bill."
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