Wieden + Kennedy has hired Iain Tait – a founder of Poke and one of the most respected creative and strategic digital thinkers in London – to lead a new global digital initiative.
According to sources, the agency is working to push forward the boundaries of its interactive work for clients including Nike, Coca Cola and Levi's and has hired Mr. Tait to drive this from its Portland headquarters, although his exact role is still under wraps.
Mr. Tait was personally recruited by Dan Wieden and will be working at the highest level within the agency. His reasons for the move are personal as well as professional.
In a statement, Tait said, "The very premature birth of my twins last year forced me to take a long, hard look at my life. Despite the tremendous support shown to me by my partners at Poke, working in London and commuting from Brighton doesn't allow me to be the father I want to be to my daughters. As part of my life reassessment, I ended up having conversations with Dan Wieden about a fantastic opportunity with W+K. I went to visit and I fell in love with the place, the people and the life I know I can make for my family out there."
Nicolas Roope, a co-founder and executive creative director of Poke, said "Ian can do a lot for Wieden + Kennedy. I hope they listen to him because if they do they will be doing themselves a great service. It's great that he's been recognised this way at the highest level and all eyes will be on him. It's a chance to unlock the industry and take it forward."
Poke was founded in late 2001 and backed by Mother, which is still a shareholder in the business. Its New York office opened three years ago and recently launched the Dyson vortex fan globally.
Mr. Tait began as an account man at Syzgy, now part of WPP Group. From there he became a project manager at technology networking forum First Tuesday, developing their introduction platform, and then set up an agency, Monkey, with Mr. Roope. In late 2001 Mr. Tait and Mr. Roope set up Poke with some key figures from dotcom causalty Deep End.Mr. Tait is getting married this weekend to a former account director at Wieden and Kennedy London. He writes one of the best read blogs in the industry, crackunit.com.