Goodby's Jim Elliott Joins Y&R, New York, as Chief Creative

Group Creative Director Worked on Chevrolet, Haagen-Daaz's 'Help the Honey Bees' Campaign

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Y&R, New York, is hiring Jim Elliott, a group creative director for the past five years at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, to serve as its new chief creative.

Jim Elliott
Jim Elliott

Mr. Elliott replaces Scott Vitrone and Ian Reichenthal. The duo resigned in February to become lead creatives at Wieden & Kennedy, New York. Mr. Elliott will move across the country and begin his new post in June, reporting to Tony Granger and Jane Barratt, who are worldwide chief creative and president of the office, respectively.

"We were really looking for someone who could pick up on the momentum Scott and Ian created here," Ms. Barratt said. "Someone who's got a collaborative nature, energy, passion and vision and, of course, creative credentials. The work [Mr. Elliott] did on Chevy and the work he did on Haagen-Daaz really proves he's got an innovative approach and is a wonderful storyteller. With 'Honey Bees' especially, it was a robust media idea that went across the right media at the right time."

Mr. Elliott's "Help the Honey Bees" campaign for Haagen-Daaz snared the first Green Pencil award from the One Club, and other hardware he has collected includes awards at Cannes, D&AD, the Andy 's and the Effies. Before Goodby he spent time at Cole & Weber and Mullen.

"I got the immediate sense that there's shared DNA on several levels," Mr. Elliott said via email. "A strong belief in digital innovation. A shared desire to tell compelling brand stories in interesting and innovative ways across multiple platforms and channels, whether that's through digital avenues, traditional mediums or by way of some altogether new thing that inspires consumers, other brands and certainly our own industry. ... Finally, there's a shared desire to have heaps of fun in the process."

Mr. Elliott will, pretty quickly, have to help Y&R improve its record on the new-business front too. The agency is in the midst of an epic pitch to defend its Accenture business, and has lost a slew of accounts including Office Depot, Hilton Hotels, and MetLife in recent months. It is trying to right the ship under new CEO David Sable, who was most recently at WPP sibling Wunderman.

"New business for us is obviously a key priority, as it is for most agencies," Ms. Barratt said. "Absolutely, we'll have Jim be a part of those new business initiatives. Clients buy people, not just agencies; his personality and passion and his ability to get really close to brands and create great stories for us will be a huge asset for us."

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