TBWA\Chiat\Day New York today announced it has hired Alastair “Al” Merry as executive creative director. Merry spent the past eight years at Wieden + Kennedy, most recently as a creative director in the group’s Amsterdam division.
At TBWA\Chiat\Day, Merry will lead the Nissan and Adidas accounts and report directly to chief creative officer Chris Beresford-Hill.
“Al has been behind some of the best work in the industry; however, those who know him best lead with what a great person he is,” Beresford-Hill said in a statement. “I’m so happy he’s chosen to come here and join our crew.”
While at W+K Amsterdam, Merry produced award-winning campaigns such as Nike’s “You’re Made of What You Do” series, which earned a Gold Lion at Cannes last year, and “Lions to Lionesses” for the Dutch women’s national soccer team, which picked up a Eurobest Grand Prix. He also worked with Gap, Heineken and Honda, among other brands, and was the co-creator and creative director of the Atlantic’s “Typecast” film, which featured actor Michael K. Williams questioning his Hollywood career.
Merry’s appointment is also a homecoming of sorts. When he was just starting his career—and a decade before he joined W+K, hopping first from London to New York then finally to Amsterdam—Merry joined TBWA\London as a graduate trainee. It’s not clear how long he stayed in that position but in 2007, he was hired into BBH London’s creative department where he spent nearly four years before leaving for W+K.
“I have a very warm feeling about coming back to TBWA to help continue a long tradition of iconic creative work,” Merry said. “With Chris at the helm, I’m confident great things will happen, and if I can help create opportunities like I’ve had for this talented and diverse bunch of creative people, I’ll consider this a success.”
Under the leadership of Beresford-Hill, who joined TBWA\Chiat\Day in September, the agency has hired a string of new executives, including Chris Rowson as head of design and John Doris as head of production. Beresford-Hill also filled out the agency’s team of executive creative directors alongside Merry through the promotions of Evelyn Neil and Walt Connelly and new hires Amy Ferguson and Julia Neumann.
Still, these hires come after TBWA\Chiat\Day New York parted ways with a number of employees in its creative department in January. The shop told AgencySpy at the time that the decision affected less than 10 employees.