BBDO's Eric Silver Likely to Take Lead Creative Role at DDB

Rumored to Replace Chairman-Chief Creative Officer Lee Garfinkel

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NEW YORK ( -- After a five-year run at BBDO, New York, creative big Eric Silver is jumping to Omnicom Group sibling agency DDB, New York, said executives familiar with the matter.

While there has been no formal announcement yet, the writing is on the wall that Mr. Silver will replace Lee Garfinkel, DDB, New York's chairman-chief creative officer, as the shop's lead creative. That means, effectively, DDB is trading one maker of funny 30-second spots for another. The move is expected to be effective later this month. Representatives for the Omnicom-owned agencies declined to comment.

Executives close to the matter say DDB ensnared Mr. Silver to serve as its top creative in New York in the hopes that he can help revive the struggling agency. Despite an early success in landing Subaru's account back in 2004, Mr. Garfinkel's reign has been met with little luck in winning new clients or developing high-profile campaigns.

DDB still reeling
DDB's flagship Chicago office, meanwhile, is still reeling from the loss of Paul Tilley, who served as creative chief until his tragic death nearly one year ago. The agency is continuing its search for a replacement.

Mr. Silver, who is 41, was tapped to serve as exec VP and exec creative director at BBDO, New York, in December 2003, under BBDO top creative David Lubars. He was brought on to fill Gerry Graf's shoes when Mr. Graf moved to helm the New York office of another Omnicom shop, TBWA Worldwide. (Mr. Graf defected to Saatchi & Saatchi last year.)

A law-school dropout and one-time writer for David Letterman, Mr. Silver built his creative reputation doing award-winning work for Cliff Freeman & Partners, after earlier stints at various shops, including Wieden & Kennedy and Goodby Silverstein & Partners. A regular on the awards circuit, he became associated for a breed of outlandish, slapstick TV work for clients such as Fox Sports.

At BBDO, Mr. Silver was best known for his FedEx work, though since late last year he has focused on the agency's client, for whom he crafted a spot in the last weeks' Super Bowl. View it here.

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