VML has made three key creative hires: Lauren Lafranz as managing director, global creative operations, based in NY; David Altis as executive creative director who will be in the agency’s Kansas City, Mo. headquarters; and Mariana Costa as group creative director in Chicago.
Lafranz will report to Debbi Vandeven, global CCO. In the newly created role of managing director, global creative operations, Lafranz will be responsible for implementing Vandeven’s vision, helping manage VML’s award-winning creative offices worldwide, formalizing the global creative network and being a resource consultant to activate appropriate skill sets for clients. She will also expand creative standards and manage global awards planning.
Lafranz brings more than 15 years of experience, with the majority of her career spent with J. Walter Thompson Worldwide — the past 10 of which concentrated on the creative content side. In her previous position as chief creative content officer, she was directly responsible for managing JWT’s creative program and global creative initiatives. In addition to overseeing programming, she allocated creative resources, tailored showcases for recruitment and retention, and advised on content for award show opportunities. Prior to that, Lafranz held roles in both account management and project management, working on brands such as Rolex, JetBlue and Domino’s.
Lafranz will also act as director of VML’s global creative council, where she will guide creative teams through the process of producing enhanced creative and manage performance of each office in the VML network. She will also hold the title of creative curator, ensuring the highest quality work is cultivated and advanced for VML’s clients. Additionally, Lafranz will recommend talent for specific assignments across global brands.
VML rehired Altis as ECD. He originally joined VML in September 2004, leaving in August 2014 to serve as ECD at a local boutique advertising agency.
Altis has worked on a client roster that includes Kellogg, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, SAP, Waste Management, multiple Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations, H&R Block, Colgate-Palmolive, Tom’s of Maine and the San Diego Zoo.
His experience with digital transformations and advertising spans more than 22 years. He was formally educated in traditional illustration and worked as a successful illustrator for several years before shifting his focus to digital.
Altis has applied his experience across diverse client verticals to help create meaningful consumer engagement ecosystems--striving to connect people to brands by employing insights-driven digital, traditional and broadcast strategies.
His digital and interactive background includes extensive enterprise-level websites, marketing micro sites and consumer social media engagements.
Altis reports to John Godsey, VML’s CCO, North America.
VML’s new group CD Costa has nearly 20 years of experience in the advertising industry, including 12 years in New York working at McCann and DDB on brands such as Georgia-Pacific, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon and Reebok. She began her career at BBDO Chicago.
At VML, Costa will be part of the Kimberly-Clark team, where she will manage creative delivery for Family Care brands.
Costa reports to Sean Burns, executive creative director.