Poaching Continues as TBWA Snags a Y&R Top Creative

Mark Figliulo Heads to New York to Replace Gerry Graf

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Continuing a cutthroat game of creative musical chairs, TBWA is prepared to poach Y&R, Chicago, creative Mark Figliulo for the top creative role in its New York office.

According to executives familiar with the matter, Omnicom Group's TBWA and Mr. Figliulo are in the late stages of contract negotiations for him to replace the highly awarded Gerry Graf, who recently decamped TBWA for Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi.

A Y&R spokeswoman couldn't be reached for comment, and a TBWA spokesman declined to comment. Mr. Figliulo couldn't be reached for comment by press time.

Joined Y&R in 1999
Mr. Figliulo, now exec VP-chief creative officer and managing partner, joined Y&R, a WPP Group agency, in November 1999 from Dark Light Pictures, Chicago, where he was a director. He earlier served as VP-creative director at Publicis' Leo Burnett, Chicago.

In 2003, Advertising Age and sibling publication Creativity named Mr. Figliulo among the top 10 creatives in the industry, responsible for the creative regeneration in Y&R's Chicago office, which at the time churned out top-notch work for clients such as Nascar, Orbitz and Miller Brewing.

Mr. Figliulo's move to TBWA is part of a poaching-fest over the last several months that has seen a flurry of creative talent moving in and out of three agencies: TBWA, Y&R and Saatchi.

It all started when ...
It all started with the surprise departure last November of former Saatchi Chief Creative Officer Tony Granger to take on a global creative role at Y&R. Shortly after, Jan Jacobs and Leo Premutico, former Saatchi executive creative directors, also defected to set up their own shop, Johannes Leonardo, in New York with the backing of WPP.

In January came the news that Mr. Graf would fill Mr. Granger's vacancy, and then last month the exodus of four TBWA, New York, creatives in his wake: Group Creative Directors Scott Vitrone and Ian Reichenthal, who are headed to Y&R to work under Mr. Granger; and Issac Silverglate and Jeff Anderson, who left for independent Droga 5.