Wieden + Kennedy's global co-executive creative director, Colleen DeCourcy, has recently been made partner at the agency after just 15 months. As a partner, she will join a select group of 11, which also includes president Dave Luhr, executive creative director of the agency's Portland, Oregon headquarters Susan Hoffman, and co-founder Dan Wieden. DeCourcy is the quickest to make partner at the agency since Ian Tait, who left the agency for Google in 2012, but returned earlier this month as co-executive creative director at the agency's London office. All partners share an equity stake in the agency and work together to shape its priorities.
DeCourcy is the quickest to make partner at the agency since Ian Tait, who left the agency for Google in 2012, but returned earlier this month
DeCourcy left social media marketing agency, Socialistic (an agency she launched herself with the backing of Havas) to join Wieden in January 2013, and since then she has worked closely with her fellow co-executive creative director Mark Fitzloff in recruiting top talent and setting up a group known as 'The Lodge' inside the Portland creative department. The Lodge applies technological solution to brand problems, and has become a model for each of the agency's other seven offices. Wieden himself (who is also the agency's global chairman) has issued a statement calling DeCourcy; “The real deal.” He says that in a matter of mere months, she has “Firmly integrated existing digital talent, added more and enhanced their expertise, and she accomplished all this while trotting around the W+K global network.”
DeCourcy has been rather candid in her approach to advertising, simply stating that in her line or work, “You make stuff or you don't. What you do makes other people's work better or it doesn't.” As far as her goals in moving forward, DeCourcy believes they are currently in a place where they are ”Questioning what's going on with the industry.” She says “There's no theory or anything. It's not about getting more digital, it's not about getting more social and it's not about solving problems.” Her agenda for the next year is "Whatever it means to break the dishes in this building and the other seven buildings that are attached across the world.” She is of course referring to shaking things up in not only the agency's headquarters, but all of the agency's global offices.
“There's no theory or anything. It's not about getting more digital, it's not about getting more social and it's not about solving problems.” Colleen DeCourcy
Before launching Socialistic, DeCourcy worked in leading creative roles and JWT, Organic and TBWA (where she was global chief digital officer), and whilst she had a great deal of authority at these agencies, she feared she was being typecast and isolated as (her her own words) “The digital chick.” Wieden, however, ensured her that this wouldn't happen with their agency and she has a certain affinity for the agency's no-nonsense approach, which (if her statements are anything to go by) she certainly shares.
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and musician who had to edit a few profanities out of the quotes in this article. As such, he has a feeling he'd probably get along swimmingly with Colleen DeCourcy.