Global creative agency Mcgarrybowen has announced several changes to the US creative leadership team today.
Kurt Fries has been named chief creative officer for Mcgarrybowen Chicago. Fries has been working for Mcgarrybowen since 2013, leading creative efforts for Chicago’s largest accounts, including Disney Destinations. Fries also was instrumental in the agency’s securing - and building - of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association family as well as winning last year’s Clorox specialty business, which included brands like Brita and Kingsford. Prior to joining Mcgarrybowen, Fries spent the majority of his career at DraftFCB, where he led the integrated teams for both Boeing and Dow. During his 14 years there, he also worked on a wide range of accounts, including KFC, John Deere, ADM, Aquafina, AAA, Quaker, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. Fries will continue to report to US chief creative officer Ned Crowley.
On Fries’s promotion, Crowley said: “Kurt’s passion and leadership is extraordinary – rallying our people and clients alike. I have complete confidence that Kurt’s best days are ahead, and expect that he will continue to inspire great work that is highly effective for our clients.”
Fries added: “The Chicago office has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past several years, and I am fortunate to be part of such a successful team. We have a deep bench of creative talent with whome I am tremendously proud to work side-by-side. Together, we are going to continue to push the boundaries of creativity to drive brands.”
Crowley will continue to oversee all three US offices of Mcgarrybowen – New York, Chicago, and San Francisco – he also will take over responsibilities for the New York office, as Matthew Bull, chief creative officer, Mcgarrybowen NY, leaves the agency.
"I have loved my time at Mcgarrybowen, and have been surrounded by special people, both from a personal and professional perspective. I know they will continue to go from strength to strength," said Bull.
On Bull’s leaving, US chief executive officer Simon Pearce said: “Matthew’s inspirational qualities and his desire to push the creative product to new heights and in new directions have been very much at the heart of our overall resurgence. I am deeply grateful for his contributions and commitment during his tenure during what has been an important and successful chapter in the Mcgarrybowen story.”
Pearce also shared his thoughts on Crowley’s leadership: “We are fortunate to have an outstanding creative leader in Ned Crowley. Ned is the heart of all of our US creative efforts, and was integral in the year-long effort to win the American Express global creative business. Ned will be very active in the coming months seeking to hire the best creative talent to join us as we ramp up our efforts there. With Kurt now in place in Chicago, along with Marianne Besch, managing director, executive creative director, for Mcgarrybowen San Francisco, we are thrilled that Ned will be more involved in leading the creative team in New York while continuing to raise the bar on our creative product for all our US clients.”