Need That Kash To Feed That Jones

Chicago Sun Times advertising columnist Lewis Lazare reports that Leo Burnett svp/cd Kash Sree has departed the Wacker Avenue agency for greener pastures. Sree arrived at Burnett in 2002 from Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, Ore., where he was a key creative on the high-profile Nike account.
Lazare writes, “His departure from Burnett suggests he was unable to fully integrate himself into the highly political and complex culture in Burnett’s creative department.”
If Lazare’s assertion is correct, it saddens me, for the agency business fashions itself a meritocracy. Yet, I know, as do countless others, how far that lofty claim is from the truth.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. The last thing Burnett is is a meritocracy.
    The people in charge there have rarely, if ever, worked anywhere else. And rose through political, not creative, means. And as a result, they will forever fend off challenges to their authority by someone that comes in and attempts to do great work. Proof is the company’s inability to keep great creatives, regardless of salary paid.

  2. Burnett continues to make huge mistakes by not recognizing talent when it sees it. How can an agency “let go” a Cannes Grand Prix winning Creative? Other agencies would pull off amazing feats to get such talent. By any measures Kash is an amazing Creative. Burnett is an old-school, politically charged agency in need of change. As clients continue to leave Burnett.. it will have to reconsider its position in the agency world and put aside its politics.