Dentsu-owned digital agency 360i has hired Adam Kerj as its chief creative officer following a six-month-long search.
Mr. Kerj comes to the New York-based shop from Publicis Groupe-owned Saatchi & Saatchi in Stockholm, where he was the executive creative director and founding partner. The appointment is effective immediately, though Mr. Kerj won't relocate to the U.S. with his family until this summer. Mr. Kerj will report to 360i CEO Bryan Wiener and will oversee more than 30 people.
"Adam is a pioneer in identifying and implementing big ideas that solve real business challenges for his clients," Mr. Wiener said in a statement. "Marketing in the digital age requires excellence in storytelling, depth in digital and, most importantly, the ability to bring these together to guide brands where there are no roads. Adam embodies all of these traits and is a great cultural fit with 360i."
Mr. Kerj was named to the post after dozens of interviews with potential candidates and a unanimous vote of confidence from 360i's senior leaders, Mr. Wiener told Ad Age. "The profile of the right CCO has changed substantially; marketers today need big crossplatform ideas, but with digital at its core. And Adam is one of the few creative leaders out there that has both the digital expertise and the big-idea creative chops as well."
To 360i's benefit, Mr. Kerj has experience working with some of the agency's clients already; during his time in Sweden, he worked on Diageo and Coca-Cola. He's also done work for other large marketers such as Toyota and Procter & Gamble. For P&G's Ariel, he created "The Fashion Shoot," a live digital event that allowed visitors to the brand's Facebook page to shoot stains at crisp, white shirts, via a remote control robot. It was honored by Creativity as one of the best campaigns in 2011. To see more of his work on Creativity go here.
The new role will be a big change for Mr. Kerj, who's spent the past 20 years working in European creative shops. He had a short stint at Leo Burnett in Chicago in the nineties, but since then, he's worked at Leo Burnett in Denmark, TBWA in Sweden, and then founded the Saatchi Sweden office in 2002.
Asked if he thinks that moving from a traditional creative shop to a digital agency will be a tough challenge, he said: "I don't see it as that big a change because today 50% of revenue at Saatchi Sweden comes from digital and new media." He added: "Sitting in Stockholm and watching what's going on in the world, over the last couple of years, I've seen some great work coming out of agencies that didn't happen as often as it does today. New York has become more of a center of creative excellence again and I think a lot of interesting things are happening here."