Andy DiLallo set join TBWA\ Sydney as ECD Gary McCreadie departs to join new agency start-up
CB Exclusive – Campaign Brief can reveal that TBWA\Sydney ECD Gary McCreadie is departing the agency to take an ECD role at a new agency start-up partly funded by M&C Saatchi.
McCreadie’s replacement is the multi-awarded Andy DiLallo, who departed the M&C Saatchi Sydney chief creative officer role in November last year. DiLallo will join TBWA\ in June as chief creative officer.
Prior to M&C Saatchi, DiLallo (above right), one of the most awarded chief creative officers in the world, was at Leo Burnett Sydney, joining as joint ECD (together with Jay Benjamin, his creative partner at the time) in April 2008 from JWT Sydney. Before that they had stints at Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand and Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney.
McCreadie (above left), along with creative partner Wesley Hawes, joined TBWA\Sydney in September 2014 from BBH London. Hawes left TBWA\ late last year, eventually resurfacing at Marcel, Sydney in January.
At BBH McCreadie and Hawes were global creative directors on Axe/Lynx, the agency’s largest and most creatively awarded account. (Hawes departed TBWA\ late last year, and in January took the deputy ECD role at Marcel, Sydney.)
They were responsible for some of the most celebrated campaigns from BBH London in recent years, including the Gold Cannes Lion awarded ‘Apollo’ integrated campaign; the ‘Monday/Wednesday’ work; and the ‘Soulmates’ film, all for Axe/Lynx. Additionally, they produced the ‘We Own the Weekend’ campaign for the Guardian, the awarded ‘Aarrrgghhh’ spots for Tango, and the Barclaycard ‘Waterslide’ film.
Why haven’t agencies got the vision to look beyond the usual candidates?
Great hire TBWA.
Reardon & DiLallo give them a very good front bench.
Have to agree. It’s a very stinky game of pass the parcel
Find the candidates and you will make a fortune.
Never has their been such s drought.The subject would make would for an interesting discussion Lynchy.
I think we’ve seen this before.
Sorry, but what does an ECD or for that matter a CCO actually do that a good old fashioned CD can’t do … other than draw a massive salary package?!
The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Mind you, I wouldn’t say that to McCreadie’s face. He looks like he could punch my lights out with a lightning-fast combination.
I like Gary, I’m sad to see him go.
Because it’s a really frigging hard, demanding job and very few people can do it well – dealing with the pressure from management and clients, to retain the client but make sure the work doesn’t fall apart in the process, lead and win pitches, win awards, attract and retain staff, create the conditions for creativity to thrive, deal with all the additional tasks that come with management, dig in when the work isn’t happening, be strategic, be a leader, handle the PR … and if you’re the head of a major agency with big clients and a history of awards, who would you choose to lead creative? You have to have a solid track record to even be in contention. It’s a small pool.
Ok, either you haven’t worked on a proper agency for the last 20 years, or you’re asking a rethorical question. Yes, granted, all of this CCO and ECD title stuff is somewhat unnecessary and for smaller agencies total nonsense, and yes, back in the day there was only ONE Creative Director and he was the boss of creative. And that was it. But as agencies got bigger and clients got savvier and more demanding, they wanted ‘their own Creative Directors’ on their accounts. So, enter the ECD. The CD of the CD’s, so to speak. However, and as @shuffling has so eloquently made clear, the true value of the ECD is ‘Managing Up’ not down. And that requires a skill set a lot broader and more sophisticated than just telling creatives what to do. It requires emotional quotient, intelligence, empathy, leadership and diplomatic skills, dedication and a good dose of passion for the job, the agency and the industry. That’s why the pool is so small. Problem is, evidently, everyone thinks they can do it. And that’s why there’s been some appalling decisions made through the years on some of the major networks on who should fill up that particular role. You might be a great creative, but that doesn’t make you a great leader. I invite anyone to sit down for a day on the ECD’s chair of a proper, profitable, successful, big name agency and tell us if it is a walk in the park. I can assure you, it’s not.
I’m fairly certain there are some ECD’s out there (they know who they are) who couldn’t lead a primary school orchestra. Leadership does not the solid ECD make.
Interesting conversation going on here.Not sure any one could meet @shuffling’s job spec.Who are they?
Exactly the point, dear JV. There aren’t many. And those who are, are not the ones who you’ll find continuously on Campaign Brief. And yes, they know who they are. Most importantly, their agencies know who they are. And that’s why they’re succesful.
The reason the pool has never been so small is no agency invests in the next generation. We currently have a crop of ECDs who can’t even delegate writing a script to anyone, let alone train the CDs to eventually replace them, so all the talented seniors have gone overseas or gotten the hell out.
Cut to a few years time when those from overseas return and you’ll have the same problem – they may have been called CDs or even ECDs in their massive overseas agency, but rarely had the responsibility of even a decent senior. They become ECDs here, waste massive agency head hours rewriting everyone’s scripts (because they don’t know how to direct people) and the cycle continues.
Australian advertising has never been so shit uand we know it’s truly stuffed when agencies are run by the CEOs / CFOs with no equal creative partnership.
BTW – while admirable, a two week crash course on being a CD will never replace being someone’s right hand and confidant for 3-4 years before being tapped on the shoulder. Hard to think of many ECDs who have had that.
Spot on @Rex. That’s, however, in the lucky case that the ECD is actually IN THE AGENCY re-writing the scripts. Most of the ECD’s I’ve worked with are NEVER there in the first place.
I fully agree with @Rex. you hit the nail on the head. It’s a tough job that required a huge amount of leadership skill without the micro-managing and those people are few and far between.
Hey Spot On,
I hear you and it’s a tough gig. But I’m not pointing the finger at ECDs. Agencies aren’t investing in the next generation of leadership and it shows.
The agencies who do invest in talent are reaping the results like agency of the year accolades and super low staff turnover. TBWA Sydney is one.
Unfortunately training and motivation involves having a buffer in your workflow, so in order to do this you need to go back to basing profits on 20 billable hours each week instead of 50. Which means hiring more creatives, less suits and limiting internal meetings in number and time.
So good luck with that, once the money men took over bag handlers were given way too much power and unfortunately, none of them know how to run a creative department.
Trickle down economics has worked for every single person at the top.
I’m more interested in the “a new agency start-up partly funded by M&C Saatchi” bit. What’s going on?
A CCO with Andy’s cache would be looking at starting his own thing. Why mess around with the multi-nationals, you could wipe the floor with them. Now’s a good time to do it.