Helped Engineer Wieden & Kennedy 'Beta-7' Promotional Hoax

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson today said it has named Ty Montague executive vice president and chief creative officer and co-president of its New York office, a move that is
Ty Montague's most famous work is the Sega Beta-7 promotional hoax site he helped create at Wieden & Kennedy.
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meant to infuse the old-line agency with a jolt of nontraditional marketing energy.

Mr. Montague, 41, comes to JWT from independent Wieden & Kennedy, New York, where he was co-executive creative director and was one of the brains behind "Beta-7," a Blair Witch Project-esque four-month campaign for the Sega ESPN NFL video game.

Agency repositioning
Mr. Montague's hiring is one component of broader repositioning, now in development. Rosemarie Ryan, Mr. Montague's co-president, told Advertising Age in August that senior management is rethinking "how the agency looks and feels. ... We're asking of the agency the same sorts of questions we ask clients about their brands: what actions should it take to make it real in the marketplace?" One JWT insider said that Mr. Montague will help the agency "provide our clients with ways to make the consumer -- whose attention span is more diminished -- spend more time with our clients' brands."

"Clients are saying they need big agencies to evolve, and Ty is someone who can clearly play in this new space," said one executive familiar with Mr. Montague and JWT. Despite his nontraditional marketing credentials, Mr. Montague is "no so out there that he'll scare clients," said another agency executive of Mr. Montague.

David Lubars
Mr. Montague's arrival at JWT's North American flagship office marks the second such move by a non-traditional advertising evangelist. David Lubars in June was named chairman and chief creative officer of Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide North America. The agency is renowned for splashy, extravagant 60-second TV spots for clients like Pespi-Cola. Like Mr. Montague, Mr. Lubars, who moved from Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis, where he was president, won recognition from innovative efforts like the short film series for BMW.

Mr. Montague did not return a call for comment earlier today.

Blue-chip marketers
Accounts handled at JWT's New York office include those of blue-chip marketers Unilever, Cadbury Schweppes and Pfizer. With 600-employees, the agency is far larger than most of the shops where Mr. Montague has previously worked. Past employers include Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York, as well as Goldsmith/Jeffrey, the former boutique run by Bob Jeffrey, now CEO of J. Walter Thompson Worldwide. He worked for a time at Chiat Day, New York, with his new co-president, Rosemarie Ryan, and JWT's director of business development, Brian Martin.

Eric Steinhauser and Nat Whitten, who have led JWT's creative department as executive creative director and deputy executive creative director, respectively, since former creative head Mike Campbell was fired, will work "in tandem" with Mr. Montague, an agency insider said.

At Wieden
Meanwhile, Wieden, New York, said in a release that Kevin Proudfoot will replace Mr. Montague. Mr. Proudfoot, who joined Wieden in 1999, takes the title of co-executive creative director and will lead the agency along with Todd Waterbury.

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