Mr. Tilley, a 10-year DDB veteran, most recently was the top creative on the agency's McDonald's and Dell Computer accounts, playing a lead role in creating the "I'm Loving It" and "Dude, You're Getting A Dell" campaigns for those brands. He succeeds Michael Folino, who resigned earlier this summer after six months on the job to join Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, Ore.
Mr. Tilley takes over the top creative post at a sensitive time for DDB, which in the last year lost accounts from J.C. Penney and Home Depot, as well as Dell's consumer work. While the agency did pick up Safeway's $250 million account to partially offset the losses, Mr. Tilley said restoring growth is a key priority.
"This has been a tough year," he said. "Any time you lose business, you want to win some back ... because growth gives us the resources to attract the best people and serve our clients better."
Excited for A-B
Mr. Tilley said he was most looking forward to working on new-media efforts -- such as a planned eight-channel web-based TV network for Anheuser-Busch -- in order to earn the agency more credit for being innovative. "Big agencies and brands get stereotyped as being anchored in traditional media because they have to reach a mass audience," he said. "But A-B is investing in other cool ways to create an experience for people."
Mr. Tilley is not getting Mr. Folino's former "chief creative officer" title. He said the "managing director" title is intended to underscore a responsibility for the entire agency, and not just creative work.
"I don't care what you call me," he said. "It's a dream job."
DDB also announced it was boosting James Lou, 37, to managing director-strategy from director-account planning and Don Hoffman, 49, to managing director-accounts from worldwide account director.