Topolewski takes position as DMB&B's creative chief

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Gary Topolewski believes you can go home again. He's returning to his native Detroit after a year working under Lee Clow at Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/ Day, Playa del Rey, Calif.

In a near rerun of his agency flip-flop a year ago, Mr. Topolewski, 43, changed his plan to join independent Doner, Southfield, Mich., as one of several exec creative directors, and will instead become exec VP-chief creative officer at Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., beginning May 21.

"There's more work to be done" at DMB&B, he said, referring to the chance to further improve work on the global Cadillac and U.S. Pontiac accounts, among others. "What a blast it would have been" to collaborate again with creatives from his early career at Doner, he said, but added that in the end "you have to do what you have to do. I'm flattered and fortunate to be able to have these kinds of opportunities open to me."

The award-winning creative said people forget that Detroit ad agencies handle some of the biggest brands in the world. "Anybody from out of town thinks we're a bunch of hicks here," he stated. "But I think we have some of the smartest people." He missed his family, Detroit and working on car accounts.


A year ago, the 1980 Michigan State University grad left True North Communications' FCB Worldwide, Southfield, Mich., after nearly 12 years on the Jeep and Chrysler accounts, where he headed the team that created "Snow covered," the spot that won the Cannes Grand Prix in 1994. He initially joined Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson/A&L, San Francisco, on the Microsoft Corp. account as exec VP-chief creative officer. But shortly after he shifted to TBWA/Chiat/Day as exec creative director because "I had always wanted to work for [Chairman-CEO] Lee Clow," he explained. He realizes now he got the desire to do something different out of his system.

At TBWA/Chiat/Day, he did a "little dabbling on Infiniti," the luxury brand of Nissan North America. He had fun working on Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art account and the launch of XM Satellite Radio, due in September.

Stan Fields, chief operating officer of DMB&B, Troy, described his new hire as "a world-class creative talent, with leadership credentials that are unsurpassed ..." and is "another important step in the creative renaissance of D'Arcy Detroit."

Mr. Topolewski succeeds Robin Weeks, a U.K. native who had joined DMB&B a little over a year from WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson Co., Warsaw, Poland.

Mr. Weeks was believed to have been frustrated at General Motors Corp.'s pre-ad testing processes, although an agency spokesman said Mr. Weeks left for personal reasons. Mr. Weeks couldn't be reached for comment.

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