Adweek reported McCann bucked the trend of appointing White women and global citizens to creative leadership roles by hiring a plain, old White man—Eric Silver—as North American Chief Creative Officer. To take the McCann gig, Silver is closing his namesake agency—which recently lost CarMax, its largest client. Lose your biggest client today, land a better job tomorrow. Only in America.
Eric Silver Will Close His Agency and Join McCann as North American Creative Chief
Silver + Partners lost biggest client, CarMax, in November
By Noreen O’Leary
Eric Silver is back in the big leagues, signing on as the new regional chief creative officer of McCann Erickson North America. Silver, who has worked at network agencies like BBDO and DDB, was most recently chief creative officer at Silver + Partners, New York.
Silver’s namesake agency is closing, sources said. In November it lost its biggest client, CarMax to McKinney, which became the lead creative shop after a review in which the incumbent did not participate. Other agency clients had included Ben & Jerry ‘s, Coca-Cola’s Honest Tea, Patron Company’s Ultimat Vodka and MSG Networks. It’s expected some of Silver + Partners’ remaining clients and execs will follow the CCO to McCann.
There was no one previously in the role of regional North America CCO, though the agency’s Sean Bryan and Tom Murphy, who were promoted to co-CCOs of McCann N.Y. in 2012, have been two of McCann’s most senior-ranking creatives in the states.
“Eric is a ‘badass’ creative talent,” said Rob Reilly, global creative chairman for McCann Worldgroup, in a statement. “With the momentum we are having here in the States, especially New York, the timing couldn’t be better for him to join.”
Reilly joined McCann Worldgroup a year ago, with a mandate that included elevating the creative profile of the Interpublic agency flagship, McCann Erickson. Silver’s hire comes after Reilly, formerly worldwide CCO at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, brought in other new talent last year like former CPB execs James Dawson-Hollis and Bill Wright who were most recently co-creative chiefs at OgilvyWest. Reilly also promoted John Mescall, the former ecd of McCann Australia who was behind the award-winning “Dumb Ways to Die” spot, to global ecd.
Silver + Partners, formerly known as Amalgamated, was founded by three former execs who worked together at Cliff Freeman & Partners in the late 1990s. Eric Silver, who also worked with them at the agency, joined in 2010 and became majority owner, prompting the name change in 2012.
Silver started his ad career as a writer at Chiat/Day before moving to Portland to work on Nike and ESPN at Wieden + Kennedy. After a stint writing as a staff writer on the Late Show with David Letterman, he went back into the ad business as a creative director at Cliff Freeman. He moved on to BBDO where he was an executive creative director, working on FedEx, Monster and the BBC. In early 2009 he joined DDB, New York as CCO and left a year later.