Modernista Founder Lance Jensen Heads to Hill Holliday

Chief Creative to Succeed Kevin Moehlenkamp

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NEW YORK ( -- Lance Jensen, executive creative director at Boston-based Modernista, is slated to leave the shop he co-founded a decade ago for the top creative post at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill Holliday, also in Boston.

Lance Jensen
Lance Jensen
Mr. Jensen will take on a role that has been vacated by longtime chief creative Kevin Moehlenkamp, as reported by Ad Age sibling Creativity yesterday.

Said Hill Holliday CEO Mike Sheehan of Mr. Jensen in a statement: "His vision for great work spans every conceivable media and technology, which will invariably help Hill Holliday and our clients continue to grow in the coming years."

"They have a talent base that is deep and strong across all the disciplines that matter right now -- including media, which I think is critically important for modern creativity," Mr. Jensen said. "And they're home to fantastic brands that I'll be honored to help create work for. I came to Hill Holliday to do the best work of my life."

The move to Hill Holliday -- a progressive but fairly buttoned up holding-company-owned agency -- is sure to be an adjustment for Mr. Jensen. He founded Modernista with Gary Koepke in January 2000 with a $40,000 investment and grew the agency into an indie hot-shop that at one time enjoyed a hot streak, handling the likes of Cadillac, Hummer, Gap and Converse. Earlier, he was one of the top creatives at Havas' Arnold behind the "Drivers Wanted" campaign for Volkswagen of America.

The loss of one of Modernista's founders rocks the shop just when it seemed to be gaining some positive momentum by on retail giant Sears' roster. In the past 18 months, the agency has had a tough period that included the loss of General Motors, it's biggest client, and the shuttering of its Amsterdam operation.

"It's sad personally ... but from a business standpoint doesn't affect us much actually," said Alex Hesz, managing director at Modernista. He noted that Mr. Jensen hasn't touched creative work at the shop in several months and stressed the agency is on an upswing, prepping to announce the addition of new clients. "The strength and bond between [Messrs. Jensen and Koepke] is clear ... they call themselves brothers. There's a huge amount of personal affection for him here."

Asked if Modernista intends to replace Mr. Jensen's role, Mr. Hesz said: "Yes, but we're not sure with what yet. We were discussing Shaq [Boston Celtic Shaquille O' Neal] last night."

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