JWT North America and New York CCO Jeff Benjamin (left) is leaving to start what he calls a ‘creative venture.’ Benjamin’s departure follows rapidly on from the appointment of Matt Eastwood from DDB as JWT global CCO and Gustavo Martinez from McCann to succeed the long-serving Bob Jeffrey as global CEO.
It’s been a case of revolving doors at JWT New York for a few years now, most obviously on the creative floor since the departure of Ty Montague.
Benjamin’s decision to start his own business may or not be related to the arrivals of Eastwood and Martinez although the ‘creative venture,’ which he says may or may not be an agency, hardly looks fully-formed. The onus now is clearly on Eastwood, who’s filling Benjamin’s boots for now at JWT New York, and Martinez to introduce some stability into what used to be the flagship of owner WPP’s creative agency empire.
That position is now firmly occupied by Ogilvy & Mather with Grey also rapidly growing in importance, led by Jim Heekin, new business whizz Michael Houston and New York boss and global CCO Tor Myhren.
JWT is going to rebranded as J. Walter Thompson, the way it started back in the 19th century, later this year. It will take more than a name change to recapture its past glories.