There one day and gone the next. That’s apparently what happened to Joe Alexander, chief creative officer at the Martin Agency.
The IPG agency abruptly parted ways last week with Alexander, the agency’s top creative as CCO since 2012 and a creative star long before that.
The agency declined to address specific reasons for the exit. “I am now able to confirm with you that, as of [December 1], Joe Alexander is no longer with our company,” stated an agency spokesperson. Hmmm, whatever happened, it doesn’t sound like a very amicable parting of the ways.
The agency's Karen Costello and Jerry Hoak will serve as creative leads in the interim, while agency CEO Matt Williams and president Beth Rilee-Kelley will be available to employees "as we focus on moving forward." Well, that’s nice that the agency’s leaders are making themselves available to employees. Who knows, maybe in the coming weeks word will leak about what exactly led to Joe A’s split.
Agency clients are being notified of this change, which include GEICO, Subway, Land O Lakes, Dunkin' Donuts, TIAA, PING, Sabra, Oreo, Ritz, Hanes, Ben Moore, Discover Card, Donate Life and The JFK Presidential Library, among others. I’m sure some of them will wonder why Joe is no longer there. And I wonder what the agency will tell them.
Alexander first joined the Richmond-based agency in 1991 as a copy-writer and was wildly heralded as an industry leading voice, including serving as president of the Cannes Lions film jury in 2016. The 4As recently named him one of its top 100 creatives "who make advertising great." He helped The Martin Agency win Agency of the Year in 2016 at The One Show. And in 2013, Martin won the first-ever Emmy for an ad agency in the News and Documentary category for the interactive experience cloudsovercuba.com.
Alexander was not available for comment, though at press time, his LinkedIn profile still lists him as CCO of the agency.