DDB NZ has added three new team members to its creative department, but it's still on the hunt for a creative director to replace Adam Kanzer, who left in mid May. And Clemenger BBDO is in a similar position, with former creative director Paul Nagy yet to be replaced and a new managing director still to be found to replace Lesley Brown, who departed about 18 months ago to have a baby and chose not to come back.
Back at DDB, Simone Louis, who began her career at Colenso BBDO, did a short stint at Publicis Mojo and then relocated to Sydney to join Three Drunk Monkeys, where she has been creative partner with creative director Noah Regan, has been snaffled as a new writer to partner Brett Colliver (the very same man who won the headline competition at the NAB ad of the year last week).
Louis was awarded the first ever Young Guns Black Bullet, has been recognised at Cannes, One Show, AWARD and Axis and has worked with Frucor, Mini, Mercedes Benz, Lion Nathan, Foxtel and Telstra.
Making up DDB's triple treat is the young creative duo Steve Hansen and Paul Kim, who have been snatched away from Colenso (DDB also poached the senior creative pairing of Lisa Fedyszyn and Jonno McMahon from Colenso a few months back). The pair are responsible for the LandSar work, winning Best Outdoor of the week on bestadsontv.com, and also took out the Emerging Talent Award at this year's Axis Awards.
Talbot says he's had his eye on Louis for a while (oooh, errr), "ever since she wrote some great long copy ads for Mercedes at Colenso". And he says Hansen and Kim have the hunger and the ambition to go far.
"The department has never been in better shape. Good times.”
As for his missing 2IC, Talbot says they're still looking at the structure at DDB at the moment, but he did interview a few contenders when he was in Cannes and also in London.
With an array of talented senior staffers like Regan Grafton, Wayne Pick, Dan Wright and Paul Hankinson sharing the load, however, he says the longish wait for an announcement is no drama at present. He says it's simply because the creative director is such a big hire and it's not a decision he feels the need to rush into. With ECD's generally spending a fair bit of time flying around hither and thither, Talbot says it's very important to have someone who can be relied upon to take the reins.
He says DDB wants to do world-class work, and that generally means conducting an international search. But, as was the case with newish managing director Justin Mowday, who shifted from DraftFCB recently, that doesn't preclude a local candidate being found.
In the DDB retail department, he says former Saatchi man Mark Lorrigan has been doing a fantastic job as a replacement creative director for Kim Ellison, who announced her departure around the same time as Kanzer. Lorrigan's contract finishes in a month, but Talbot says he might be making an announcement about a more long-term arrangement sooner rather than later.
In other hiring (or in this case non-hiring) news, Clemenger BBDO in Wellington is also yet to hire a replacement creative director after Paul Nagy left in May to start as CD at Clemenger BBDO in Sydney. And the agency is hunting for a new managing director.
Clems executive creative director and chief exec Philip Andrew wouldn't comment on how far along the road the agency is with either of these recruitment dilemmas at present. But, as with Talbot, he says the CD role is a very important one and it's not a decision to be rushed into. Added to that, he says "they're few and far between at the moment".