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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : May June 2007
Only time will tel l. Andy McKeon, ECD of JWT Australia and New Zealand, admits it’s going to take a while to turn the big, old ship around, but he’s still shooting to be named CB Agency of the Year by 2008. “Or we may just suck, fail miserably, get fired and go set up a Burrito stand in the Cross. Time will tell,” he says. Starting his career at George Patterson Melbourne, McKeon left his role as ECD of Clemenger Tasmania in 1996 to try his luck in the US. Over the next decade he worked at Wieden + Kennedy, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and most recently as ECD of Strawberryfrog, New York. When JWT’s global creative director Craig Davis approached him about returning home to spruce up JWT’s creative offering, McKeon figured he could either go work at another well-oiled creative agency that was famous before he got there and would be famous after he left, or move back home and give it a go. He started last July. Deciding factors included the chance to work with chief executive Amy Smith, whom he’d first met at W+K, as well as Davis and Ty Montague, CEO and co- president of JWT New York. He’s seeing signs they’re on the right track. “Four new accounts in three weeks - Olympus, one of the few genuinely great creative accounts in Australia, Thrifty Car Rental, Sheridan Sheets and we did the creative for the STW Colorado pitch,” McKeon says. Major new hires include red hot team (and deputy creative directors) Andy DiLallo and Jay Benjamin from Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand and Julie Rath, who he worked with at Goodby in San Francisco. “Last quarter the Sydney office jumped from 34th in the network into the top 10 and our Special-K TV ad has just made the global JWT reel. It’s the first time a Kellogg’s ad has made it - ever,” says McKeon. Davis and Montague have noticed, rewarding the Sydney agency with global pitches and projects for Ford, Schick, Nokia and Listerine. “We are sick of Australia importing creative content and are delighted we are now sending stuff back the other way,” he says. He and his American wife Anna are delighted to have swapped New York to live by the beach. Says McKeon: “There was always an amazing array of stuff to do and see but sadly I worked too much to be able to take advantage of it. Now I can decompress at the end of a hard week - I’m delighted to have reacquainted myself with Mother Nature, I missed her. “Work-wise, in the States you have time, money and competitive, ambitious clients. Here, you have lots of opportunities to produce a ton of work quickly. A free Kit-Kat for anyone who can find some happy ground.” PHOTOGRAPHY: DEREK HUGHES RETOUCHING: MARK YOUNG LOCATION: SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE
July August 2007