R/GA has been the jewel in Interpublic’s crown, a digital first creative agency with the ability to perform in all media and its own box of tricks. But founder Bob Greenberg’s agency is now looking to fill its two biggest creative roles: global and US CCO.
Global CCO Nick Law left in January for a similar role at Publicis Groupe and now Publicis has raided R/GA again, this time for US co-CCO Taras Wayner (below) who’s joining Saatchi & Saatchi. Fellow US CCO Chloe Gottlieb left for Google in May.
The agency pool of top creative talent has been shallow in recent years and those with the perceived ability to marry technology and creativity are in greatest demand – and R/GA is an obvious place to fish.
Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun is trying to transform his company into a tech-to-creativity operation through the ‘Power of One’ programme and it’s reassuring in its way that top creative talent is a big part of the this. This goes hand in hand though with a ferocious cost cutting effort.
Also busily poaching people are digital giants Facebook and Google – Amazon may follow soon – and the biggest defection from the creative agency ranks was Grey CCO Tor Myhren who joined Apple in 2015. Myhren’s influence can be seen in some outstanding recent Apple advertising.
The agency world can ill afford to lose its top talent but it’s perhaps inevitable as it finds itself under siege from all quarters. The big consultancies like Accenture and Deloitte are also hoovering up talent.
If the agency world is going to thrive it needs to reboot itself to put creativity back at its apex. That, though, is a medium term prospect at best and time seems to be short.