Campbell leaves Y&R to take top creative role at McCann

Howell begins task of rebuilding McCann by poaching Rainey Kelly director

McCann-Erickson is poised to appoint Robert Campbell, the executive creative director of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R as its new creative chief.

His appointment will be the first high-profile hiring by Rupert Howell, who recently joined the agency as president of Europe and chairman of the UK group of companies (MW August 7).

Campbell, who was a founding partner of Rainey Kelly, which was sold to Young & Rubicam in 1999, will join the troubled agency as executive creative director of the UK group and vice-president of creative for McCann Europe.

Campbell will not be replacing McCann creative director Luke White, who will continue under his guidance.

Although Campbell has yet to sign his contract, Rainey Kelly has released a statement confirming his departure. As a result, the agency is to be restructured and MT Rainey, who is joint chief executive, has been promoted to the role of chairman. The agency’s other joint chief executive, Jim Kelly, becomes chief executive. Mark Roalfe, Campbell’s partner, becomes executive creative director.

Campbell will join McCann at a difficult time. Its flagship creative account Bacardi Breezer is under review, as is its Unilever Bird’s Eye business. There has also been industry speculation that there are problems with another of its brands, Nescafé Original.

The agency has seen a myriad of high-profile departures, including Howell’s predecessor Ben Langdon (MW June 26) and UK chief executive Tamara Ingram (MW January 15), who were ousted separately earlier this year.

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