Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bob Isherwood leaves Saatchi & Saatchi

Ouch. That's got to hurt. Bob Isherwood is a legend in the world of advertising. He's been guiding the Saatchi creative product for nearly twenty years.

I met him briefly at a Caxton Awards event in North Queensland, remeber thinking he had cool hair for an older chap. Not that I was shallow. It may have been that I was desperately hung-over or near death after running 10kms in the blazing tropical heat while hung-over that skewed by perceptive and intellectual capacity.

It will be tough for Kevin Roberts to replace his partner in the agency. It was, apparently, Isherwood who moved to change the focus of Saatchi from advertising agency to ideas company. Roberts told Ad Age that he won't rush the replacement process, so you will have plenty of time to burnish you CV and reel (or get your web-site up to date - or however creative geniuses present their work these days).

In other news Michael Simons is moving from DraftFCB Sydney to DraftFCB New York as Chief Creative Officer. The Ad Age Creativity story claims he is an Australian Native, but I can say with some confidence, they are wrong. Michael is a Kiwi. His family lived around the corner from mine. Michael used to pick me up in an old VW Kombi van to take me to a youth group in a church hall before he morphed into his role as the leader of the punk band The Scavengers (or the Scavs as they were affectionately referred to - Mike's stage name was Mike Lezbian). He left the band to pursue his advertising career. The remaining members penned the song Mr X (You think you're cool, but we know your not) in a fit of pique at the selling out of their anarchist ideals. It became their only chart hit and remains representative of the late 70s Kiwi ouevre. In his career he returned to New Zealand to head the retail agency Mattingly, where I briefly had some connection with him, though I can't recall the circumstances. He did some memorable work for Air New Zealand while there - using beautiful cinematography and 'the wind beneath my wings' song to evoke a emotional connection with the carrier entirely out of sync with the agency's reputation for shouty retail. In the end the dark forces of said shouty retail won the day and Simons boarded said silver bird for foreign shores and future glory at agencies like W+K before joining FCB.

This mircocosmic glimpse into advertising history was brought to you in the intersts of turning this ship back around away from the 'bergs of politics.

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