DDB hires first North American CCO

Ari Weiss to lead 17 creative teams from across the continent

DDB’s creative teams will have a new leader as of Feb. 1 when Ari Weiss joins the Omnicom-owned network as its first North American chief creative officer.

Cosmo Campbell, SVP and CCO at DDB Canada, will report to Weiss along with his counterparts across the network’s 17 North American locations.

Weiss will be based in New York and report to Wendy Clark, DDB North America CEO, who has been been looking for a North American creative lead since mid-2016.

“There were so many qualities we wanted in our North American chief creative officer, and Ari hits the mark on all of them,” Clark said in a statement. “His work is sensational – driving business impact and consistently winning creative acclaim at the highest levels. Every time we met during this process we ran out of time, such was the depth of our instant connection, shared vision and ambition for DDB.”

Weiss told strategy that DDB has a “strong, strong network in Canada, and we’ll be pushing that even further.” He recalled meeting DDB Canada chairman and CEO Frank Palmer during the interview process, when Palmer invited him to a lengthy lunch at the decidedly old-school Bill’s Townhouse restaurant in midtown Manhattan.

“He’s such an absolute legend,” Weiss says. “When I was coming up [in my career], Palmer Jarvis was absolutely on fire. Just to meet that guy and hear his stories, his belief in DDB and the strength of Canada, it was a huge part of coming on board.”

Though his career has taken him through top-level agencies such as BBDO, Goodby, Silverstein and Partners and Wieden & Kennedy, Weiss arrives at DDB from BBH New York, where he has earned industry acclaim for steering efforts on Unilever’s Axe brand, Netflix, Playstation and other accounts.