Former Saatchi CCO Derek Green joins Cramer-Krasselt

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Cramer/Krasselt’s CCO, second newcomer to U.S. advertising here

Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago is bringing on board yet another new executive creative director: Native Australian ad man Derek Green, who most recently has been chief creative officer at Saatchi/Switzerland.

Green, who won’t arrive at C-K until August due to various immigration matters that must be dealt with, becomes the Chicago agency’s third top creative in just the past six years.

The position has been a bit of a revolving door ever since Marshall Ross relinquished the post in 2005 and ascended to the role of chief creative officer for the entire, if small, C-K network.

Green takes over from Kevin Flatt, who took over the job a little less than two years ago.  Flatt won’t be leaving the agency altogether.  Instead he will move to a role as senior vice-president, digital and design director.  A C-K spokesman said that while Green will now call the shots creatively, the new role for Flatt suggests the increasing importance of design and digital at the agency.

It’s tough to know what to make of Green as a creative talent at this juncture. One of the ads referenced in the announcement of his appointment at C-K was a bizarre commercial for Ariel washing detergent that involves a stained glass window.  The ad certainly wouldn’t fly in this country. But perhaps in foreign lands it sparked interest in the product.

Second top creative who never worked in U.S. ad industry

In any event, Green will become the second top creative to land at a Chicago agency recently who has never worked in the American ad industry.  Ewan Paterson also made his American landfall at DDB/Chicago a couple of years ago.

Perhaps Paterson can reach out and give Green a couple of tips about what to expect here in Chicago — which most assuredly is a different landscape than Geneva, Switzerland, where Green has been based for the past several years.

Though C-K has won some new accounts in recent years, apparently Ross and Cramer-Krasselt CEO Peter Krivkovich believe they needed another kind of creative touch at the top of the Chicago agency to get the new business ball rolling more swiftly and to give the work coming out of the shop a sharper profile.

We shall see if Green makes the grade.

Contact Lewis Lazare at LewisL3@aol.com

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