Mr. Jay, 55, who has been with Wieden & Kennedy for 11 years, most recently at the Tokyo office, will return to the agency's Portland headquarters Nov. 1 as executive creative director. He will work with Mr. Weiden, the agency's president and co-founder, and Dave Luhr, the chief operating officer. Mr. Jay will also become part of Wieden & Kennedy's global management team, with a focus on the agency's offices in Tokyo and Shanghai.
Wieden & Kennedy is the fifth-largest independent agency in the U.S., with revenues of $78.6 million in 2003, up 11.4% from 2002, according to Advertising Age magazine's annual agency report. The agency had billings of $450 million in 2003. In addition to global duties for its anchor account, Nike, other marketers it works for include Honda in Europe and Starbucks.
Mr. Wieden, 59, has not shared top creative duties at the office since co-founder David Kennedy retired in 1993. Agency executives declined to comment on whether Mr. Jay was being viewed as a successor to Mr. Wieden. An agency spokeswoman said the move "is a nod to John Jay's importance in this organization." She declined to comment further.
Mr. Wieden was unavailable for comment, but in a statement he said Mr. Jay ran one of the network's "most experimental" offices, referring to Tokyo, with projects which included a number of nontraditional entertainment ventures, including W&KTokyoLabs, an agency-owned music label.
"What he fostered and what he has learned in Tokyo needs to be fully shared with all our offices and all our clients, especially now, given the transitional state of this industry around the world," Mr. Wieden said in the statement.
Appointments in Asia
Over the years, Mr. Jay has worked on a number of Wieden's most prominent accounts, including those of Nike, Coca-Cola Co. and Microsoft Corp. Hiroshi Yonemura will succeed Mr. Jay in Japan, and Daniel Lim, formerly a creative director at Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, Beijing, will take the same role at Weiden's Shanghai office.