MDC's Redscout Names Peter Nicholson Chief Creative Officer

Agency Also Hires Nick Johnson as President

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- MDC Partners' Redscout has tapped former Deutsch, New York, top creative Peter Nicholson to serve as its first chief creative officer. The firm has also recruited longtime Venables Bell & Partners exec Nick Johnson to serve as president.

Peter Nicholson
Peter Nicholson
Messrs. Nicholson and Johnson will be based in New York and will report to Redscout CEO Jonah Disend.

The hires come as Mr. Disend is trying to move the agency beyond a brand-innovation firm to doing more consumer-oriented creative executions. "There comes a time [in the relationship with a marketer] that we hit a stopping point, where we own this product and service, and are so close to the strategy, but then we have to hand it off to a BBDO or a TBWA/Chiat/Day," Mr. Disend said. "It's like putting your child up for foster care. We're trying to say, let's erase that distinction ... we want to keep going and not stop and hand off the work."

Most recently, Mr. Nicholson served as partner and chief creative at Deutsch, New York, working on brands like Tylenol and PNC Bank. He spent two years there, exiting amid Deutsch's merger with Interpublic Group of Cos. sibling Lowe, New York last year.

Those combined operations are now under the creative direction of Greg DiNoto, who shuttered his New York shop to return to Deutsch.

Before Deutsch, Mr. Nicholson served in senior creative roles across the ad industry at shops such as JWT, Publicis and Goodby Silverstein & Partners.

Mr. Johnson most recently served as associate partner and managing director at Venables Bell & Partners in San Francisco. During his eight-year tenure, he was one of four agency partners responsible for the shop's management and growth, and Venables grew from a 12-person creative boutique to 155 people with nearly $30 million in revenue.

At Redscout the duo will work on a client roster that includes: Diageo, PepsiCo, Domino's, Activision Publishing and Kate Spade.

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