Magazine article ADWEEK

King Thomas Takes over Creative at McCann Flagship: DiSesa Handpicks Successor, Retains N.Y. Chairman Title

Magazine article ADWEEK

King Thomas Takes over Creative at McCann Flagship: DiSesa Handpicks Successor, Retains N.Y. Chairman Title

Article excerpt

NEW YORK One rules with her head; the other with her heart. One is a rough-and-trouble Brooklyn native; the other grew up in the heartland.

But McCann Erickson New York's Nina DiSesa and her hand-picked successor as creative chief, Missouri-bred Joyce King Thomas, last week said both styles have helped make the creative culture at McCann more nurturing and collegial--after a period in the '90s that, according to DiSesa, saw growing pains marked by a quick succession of creative directors and internal power struggles.

"It was an office of fiefdoms, each operating independently and sometimes in competition with each other," she said. "The place was not very happy at the end of 1994 when I came and through 1995. Winning business as a team lifted morale and made its better. Joyce was a big part of that."

After 10 years, DiSesa, CCO of the $3 billion Interpublic Group agency, passed rite torch last week to King Thomas, one of three ecds (with Steve Ohler and Irwin Warren). DiSesa said King Thomas was the only clear-cut candidate, and no outsiders were considered. "We were lucky nobody grabbed her before we made this move," said DiSesa, 58, who continues as chairman for at least another year.

King Thomas, 48, said she had been pursued by other shops, but no offer was tempting enough. This year, King Thomas was key to wins such as Verizon Wireless ($300 million), Staples ($60 million) and USA Today ($10 million), DiSesa said.

In her new post, King Thomas, who is best known for helping to create MasterCard's 8-year-old "Priceless" campaign, will oversee about 150 people at an agency that has landed more than $500 million in new business this year. …

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