Lanyon back to T.O to head MacLaren

Creative director Peter Lanyon officially returns to Toronto to take up his duties as president and creative director of MacLaren:Lintas on Aug. 2.Lanyon, who worked as a copywriter at MacLaren 13 years ago, returns to Toronto after two years in Vancouver...

Creative director Peter Lanyon officially returns to Toronto to take up his duties as president and creative director of MacLaren:Lintas on Aug. 2.

Lanyon, who worked as a copywriter at MacLaren 13 years ago, returns to Toronto after two years in Vancouver where he was a partner in the agency Lanyon Phillips Brink.

‘The industry has been going through a horrible identity crisis, and now it’s begun to reinvent itself, and coming here [to MacLaren] meant having an opportunity to be at the forefront of that change,’ Lanyon says.

He says the offer to be president and chief creative director of MacLaren meant he would have the authority to make meaningful change at the agency.

And the temptation was too hard to refuse.

MacLaren’s heritage as a leader in the agency community here as well as its client roster also affected his decision.

‘These are the agencies that truly affect the role of advertising because they have the big brands,’ Lanyon says.

He says his goal will be to put creative back to having a central role, and to ‘drive the spirit of creativity’ at the agency.

He says the prime focus of an ad agency is still to generate ideas.

‘The best service you can provide a client is to give them an idea that makes them money and builds their brand,’ Lanyon says.

‘It’s still a matter of, `The best idea wins,’ ‘ he says.

Chuck Phillips, partner at Lanyon Phillips Brink and former president of Chiat/Day, Toronto, says Lanyon is the best words craftsman he has ever known and adds he will be missed at the agency.

‘In his short time here, he has lifted the bar and pushed the level of creative excellence up in the market,’ Phillips says.

While Lanyon’s departure will affect the Vancouver agency’s new business acquisition short-term, Phillips will try to minimize the impact by moving quickly to find a replacement.

He is looking to Toronto for a writer as good as the agency’s art director Bill Downey, someone who wants to be part of something that has already had a great start.

Phillips says the agency will stay as Lanyon Phillips Brink.

He will not be using equity as a recruitment incentive, but says it may come later for the new creative talent.