Google has been cosying up to ad agencies recently by reviving old commercials (and admen) via its Project:Rebrief initiative but the old fears about the scale of its ambitions are bound to resurface with the news that it has poached Wieden+Kennedy’s global digital boss (and newly-annointed partner) Iain Tait to be its new global ECD.
Tait, one of the founders of London digital agency Poke, has only been at W+K’s Portland HQ for two years but has already made a big impact, on prize-winning Old Spice among many others.
Tait says: “The opportunity to work at Google Creative Lab alongside some of the brightest scientists and inventors in the world was something my inner nerd just couldn’t turn down.”
Agency founder Dan Wieden, who recruited Tait, says (through clenched teeth): “I hate it, and I am in denial, but yes, he is leaving us to join Google Creative Lab to be in touch with his inner geek and work on the product side. But I graciously thank him for the two years of amazing insights, creative thinking and digital transformation that he brought to W&K. He will be missed, but I am confident that the digital evolution that we have undergone over the last five years is a strong foundation for our continued growth.”
Note Wieden’s words “the product side.” W+K and many other agencies will be hoping that Tait confines his efforts to producing new widgets for Google. Looks a bit unlikely though.