NEW YORK: In a move towards a more integrated agency structure, GCI Group has named advertising agency veteran Joel Babbit as its new president and chief creative officer.
Babbit has spent more than two decades in the ad industry. He was the founder of the ad agency 360, which was acquired by Grey Worldwide in 2002. Grey, the parent company of GCI, was itself acquired by WPP in 2004.
Babbit, who will continue to run Grey Worldwide's Atlanta operation, will report to Jeff Hunt, GCI's CEO, and will lead a new creative group within the agency.
Babbit's newly created position will improve GCI's capability to execute work across traditional communications disciplines, according to Hunt.
"We're bringing him in as president and chief creative officer to help us really drive the agency in a completely new direction with regard to creativity and, frankly, ideas," Hunt said. "It has a lot to do with what see going on the marketplace, which is much more of a neutral approach to disciplines that more and more of our clients are asking for."
Hunt said that Babbit, who he got to know through working with shared clients, was thinking "out of the advertising box" years ago, before such approaches were in vogue.
"Increasingly, it's more of an agnostic view as to where the idea is coming from," he said. "There's kind of a new playground for ideas."