Israel Diaz named Y&R Canada’s new CCO

The former executive creative director of David & Goliath Canada becomes Y&R's first Canadian CCO since Ian Mirlin.

For the first time in five years, Y&R Canada has a chief creative officer and his name is Israel Diaz.

The agency made the announcement today that the former executive creative director of David & Goliath Canada, and before that SVP/CD at Leo Burnett, would be stepping into the role, last occupied by Ian Mirlin half a decade ago. After Mirlin left, Y&R converted to a team structure with a creative director, strategic planner and business director in charge of business units.

‘Israel is a great talent and we’re very excited to have him join Y&R,’ says Chris Jordan, president and CEO, Y&R Canada. ‘He is a perfect fit with our culture and he and I share the same views on where the agency needs to go from here. I look forward to partnering with him.’

The structural change on the part of Y&R Canada is thinking that falls in line with the creative renaissance that Tony Granger, global CCO of Y&R, started when he joined the company two years ago.

‘Ultimately, Chris decided that we needed to have a chief creative officer to look at the agency as a whole and start promoting it as a whole and have someone who would be the guiding philosophy behind our work,’ says Susan Murray, EVP and CMO, Y&R Canada.

Enter Diaz, who had become available following a decision on the part of Kia’s head office to internalize its advertising business, placing it in the hands of its in-house agency Innocean Worldwide. LA-based David & Goliath initially opened its Canadian office to service the Kia client, which it took over from Publicis Canada. It has since moved its operations back to LA.

‘This renaissance that they’re doing creatively, globally spearheaded by Tony Granger in New York, was really intriguing to me,’ says Diaz. ‘My goal is pretty simple: up the creative quality and build on their business success. Their strategic thinking is good. It’s about taking it from good to great and attracting a lot of great talent so that we can actually turn it around and make it an award-winning shop, not just in Canada, but internationally as well.’