CREATIVE CHIEF MCDONAGH EXITS SAATCHI: WEST COAST EXEC HEADED TOYOTA; GOES TO O&M OFFICE

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A quake of sorts has rocked the creative community in Southern California -- the departure last week of Joe McDonagh, executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi and the creative force behind Toyota Motor Sales USA's "Everyday" campaign.

Mr. McDonagh, an art director, moved to the Torrance, Calif., office in 1995 from the Toronto office. Two years ago, he kicked off Toyota's first branding effort with a campaign featuring Sly and the Family Stone's "Everyday People." Torrance has billings of about $500 million.

Mr. McDonagh left Saatchi to join Ogilvy & Mather, Los Angeles, where he succeeds Bill Stenton, who was senior partner and executive creative director, who left the agency. Mr. McDonagh, whose title could not be learned at press time, will also have some responsibilities for North American operations.

O&M's Los Angeles office, with billings of $225.8 million in 1997, has as its cornerstore client Mattel's Barbie and other girls' toys.

The changes at O&M come as Mattel is suffering from lagging sales and working to make over its core Barbie products. Last year, Mattel awarded some of its business -- products that could be considered for girls -- to its agency for boys' toys, Foote, Cone & Belding, Los Angeles.

DAY DEPARTS ALSO

Also departing Saatchi & Saatchi was Cameron Day, a copywriter and creative director on the Toyota account who is the son of Guy Day, co-founder of the original Chiat/Day. Mr. Day is taking a creative director's position at GSD&M, Austin, Texas.

David Pelliccioni, corporate marketing manager of Toyota Motor Sales USA, said he was shocked to hear about the departure of the two creatives upon his return from Detroit to the West Coast late Jan. 7. He said at press time he had no details and was planning to speak with agency President-CEO Scott Gilbert.

"Like any agency creative types, maybe they got tired of working with a specific client or, maybe, the approval process," Mr. Pelliccioni speculated. "We've had those little skirmishes through our tenure."

He said there were no major rifts on his business at the agency.

AIMS YOUNGER

Toyota is in the midst of a major initiative to woo younger buyers. In September, it formed Genesis Group to develop non-traditional strategies targeting post-baby boomers.

Toyota built its reputation in the '60s, when its products were a hit with boomers, the core of the brand's most loyal customers, said Don Esmond, group VP-general manager of Toyota Division.

This fall, Toyota will introduce its Echo entry-level car; the Genesis team took the lead in developing Echo's marketing strategy, Mr. Esmond said last week.

With its new youthful focus, Toyota will "evolve out of" its ad music but keep the "Toyota. Everyday," Mr. Pelliccioni said.

In 1997, Toyota spent $453.8 million in measured media, according to Competitive

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