JWT Elevates Digital Director Eastman to North American President

  |  March 25, 2010   |  Comments

Eastman replaces Rosemary Ryan, who left this week along with the 146-year-old agency's chief creative officer.

JWT has named worldwide digital director David Eastman as the replacement for Rosemary Ryan as president of North America. She and Ty Montague, co-president and chief creative officer of North America, both left the firm this week to start their own agency.

Eastman will retain his role as worldwide digital director along with his new responsibilities.

Placing a digital executive with little experience managing - or, for that matter, working in - a traditional agency is a bold move for JWT, which, at 146 years old, is one of the oldest traditional agency brands in America. Eastman joined JWT just 15 months ago after stints managing Omnicom digital properties like Agency.com and a handful of smaller shops under its DAS (digital agency services) umbrella.

"David Eastman is the future of the next phase of JWT's evolution," Bob Jeffrey, JWT's worldwide chairman and CEO, said in a written statement. "This business is, and will continue to be, about brands, creativity and ideas; but you cannot talk about brands, creativity and ideas these days without talking about technology, digital and media."

Just how Eastman plans to drag JWT into the digital era remains to be seen, but he said the first step was to address the difference in structure and operating procedures that generally separate traditional and digital agencies - a process he had already begun by integrating direct marketing agency RGM into the JWT brand.

"One way we are getting around that is forming a new department called the Experience department to be considered as a peer to creative, account and planning, and will be led by someone who is on the same hierarchical level as the heads of" those other departments, he said. That department will be home to creative technologists, user experience designers, social-media experts, digital strategists and media planners.

The bigger question for clients, however, might be whether someone with so little traditional agency experience can run an agency that, for better or worse, is still largely known for making TV commercials.

"I haven't had an awful lot of experience with traditional advertising," Eastman conceded, "but I would suggest that there are probably 9,000 people at JWT who do, and I'm surrounded by a leadership team here in North America who understand brands, creativity and ideas."

The agency is now looking for someone to serve as a creative partner to Eastman.

JWT was the main agency behind the recent Bing launch for Microsoft. Recent work also includes the Jetting campaign for Jet Blue, though that account has now gone into review.

Follow Douglas Quenqua on Twitter at @DQuenqua.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Douglas Quenqua is a journalist based in Brooklyn, NY who writes about culture and technology. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New York Observer, and Fortune.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

Jobs

    • Tier 1 Support Specialist
      Tier 1 Support Specialist (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreThis position requires a highly motivated and multifaceted individual to contribute to and be...
    • Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative
      Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative (Agora Financial) - BaltimoreAgora Financial, one of the nation's largest independent publishers...
    • Managing Editor
      Managing Editor (Common Sense Publishing) - BaltimoreWE’RE HIRING: WE NEED AN AMAZING EDITOR TO POLISH WORLD-CLASS CONTENT   The Palm...