Barton F. Graf 9000 founder Gerry Graf has made a bold statement of the agency’s ambitions by luring Wieden+Kennedy New York creative directors Ian Reichenthal (left) and Scott Vitrone to be his new ECDs and partners.
The two, who were also ECDs at Y&R New York, previously worked with Graf at TBWA and replace Eric Kallman, formerly of W+K Portland, who has left the agency. At W+K New York they were best known for their Southern Comfort ‘Whatever’s Comfortable’ campaign.
Graf says: “We’re not a startup anymore. We’re a major agency. We have national clients, global clients. It was really this year when we moved into phase two that I started thinking I needed heavy hitters. Scott and Ian are the world’s best creative directors. Scott’s sense of design is fantastic and Ian’s one of the best pure writers around. They’re really going to give us a lot more creative handles.”
Graf, himself a former CCO of Saatchi New York, launched BFG in 2010 and the agency has rapidly made a name for itself with a number of funny ad campaigns for clients including Unilever. It will be interesting to see if Graf’s ambitions for his creatively-led agency extend outside New York.