Saatchi & Saatchi New York poaches R/GA's Wayner as chief creative

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Taras Wayner
Taras Wayner Credit: Saatchi & Saatchi New York

Publicis Groupe agency Saatchi & Saatchi New York has hired Taras Wayner, U.S. co-chief creative officer at R/GA, as its new chief creative officer. He replaces Javier Campopiano, who left earlier this year to become a partner and chief creative officer at FCB Mexico.

In his new role, Wayner will oversee all creative communications across the agency's client roster including Walmart and Procter & Gamble, the agency says. He will begin September 1.

In its new creative leader, the agency sought someone who would be able to blend creativity with data and technology, Saatchi New York CEO Andrea Diquez says. She added that she was looking for "somebody who is a great human being and made me laugh." When she met Wayner, she says she knew "this is it."

Wayner says one of his goals from the outset will be forging a connection between creative and different areas, whether that be strategy or account services or production, "to really help connect and find those special, interesting, magical ideas," he says. He said one challenge he hopes to tackle is breaking down silos between client and agency, as well as within an agency, to get to the best ideas. "I think we need to evolve this industry into even more of a collaborative culture," he says.

Diquez adds that one major challenge for Saatchi, and the agency landscape at large, is the speed of change and keeping ahead of those changes.

"We're in an incredible journey with our clients right now. The competition out there for all of our clients is huge. It moves really, really, really fast," she says. "We just have to be ahead of every one of them … You start doing something and suddenly you see competitors want to do the same thing." She adds that being first to market is essential.

The agency recently won eight Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, including Titanium and Grand Prix awards. The agency's "It's a Tide Ad" won the highest honor, a Black Pencil, at London's D&AD Awards in April for film advertising. The P&G brand ran ads throughout the Super Bowl that mimicked other well-known commercials.

Wayner's move is the latest high-profile departure from Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned R/GA: Its creative leader, Nick Law was hired at Publicis Groupe as chief creative of the holding company and president of Publicis Communications earlier this year, and its co-U.S. chief creative officer, Chloe Gottlieb, said in May she was leaving to become a director of user experience at Google.

Gottlieb and Wayner were named joint creative officers in the U.S. in May 2017. When the agency internally announced Gottlieb's departure, the internal memo said Richard Ting, current global chief design officer and Gottlieb's husband, would serve as interim co-chief creative officer U.S. with Wayner.

"In his nearly 12 years at R/GA. Taras has spearheaded some of R/GA's most award-winning projects and mentored some of our best and brightest talent," says an R/GA spokesperson. "We wish Taras the best in his new role and trust he will bring his signature combination of rigor and humor to the team at Saatchi New York."

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