BRIT EDITOR LANDS IN U.S. AS CREATIVE TREND-TRACKER: KEMP ROBERTSON SUCCEEDS GUNN AT LEO BURNETT; BACKGROUND AS JOURNALIST HELPS

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Everyone wanted a piece of Donald Gunn in Cannes this year -- the festival organizers, international journalists and, of course, the obsequious Leo Burnett Co. PR staff. Small wonder, given that Mr. Gunn, 59, is stepping down from his longtime role as Burnett's worldwide director of creative resources to become president of the International Advertising Festival.

Keeping a much lower profile there was Mr. Gunn's successor, Paul Kemp Robertson, the 31-year-old former editor of Shots, a London-based video and print magazine geared toward the agency creative and commercial production communities.

With Cannes in the can, Mr. Kemp Robertson arrived in Chicago this week to assume running the agency's Creative Resources department, having spent two months working with Mr. Gunn in London.

"Donald has created a unique and proactive resource, and it's up to me to make it relevant to advertising in the 21st century," Mr. Kemp Robertson said. "If that means dealing with the decline of the 30-second spot, then we need to start cataloging the alternatives now."

EXPANDED COLLECTION

He believes the department, which archives and disseminates work from Burnett's global network while also collecting award-winning ads from agencies around the world, should begin including everything from Web ads to so-called guerrilla marketing tactics, all with the singular goal of keeping people in the Burnett network on top of the latest trends in strategy and execution.

Mr. Kemp Robertson, a 1990 graduate of the University of London, had been with Shots eight years. His journalism background factored strongly in his hiring, noted Michael Conrad, Burnett's vice chairman and chief creative officer.

"What's great about Paul is that he knows what standard-setting in advertising means," Mr. Conrad said.

COMPETING FOR ATTENTION

Mr. Kemp Robertson noted that the department's products -- its reels and reports on new commercial techniques and trends -- have to compete for creative people's attention along with other forms of information.

"They wanted someone here who could add more of an editorial dynamic to the material," he said.

Among his first tasks will be supervising the process of putting Burnett's entire Great Commercials Library online. The GCL consists of over 5,000 award-winning spots collected by Mr. Gunn's department over the last dozen years.

During his time as the editor of Shots, Mr. Kemp Robertson developed extensive contacts on both the agency creative and production sides of the industry.

"He has his finger on the pulse of creative worldwide," said Steven Dickstein, head of Propaganda Films' commercial division. "He has a complete insider's perspective on the business."

Indeed, it might even rival that of his predecessor.

"In many ways, he's already better informed than I am on what's happening around the world," said Mr. Gunn of Mr. Kemp Robertson.

Perhaps, but it's worth noting Mr. Gunn started with the agency five years before Mr. Kemp Robertson was born.

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