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W&L's Mad Man

Big news in the ad world yesterday centered on a Washington and Lee alumnus. Andrew Keller, a 1992 graduate, has been named the CEO of Crispin Porter & Bogusky, one of the country’s premier ad agencies.

We’ve noted Andrew’s work before in What’s News, noting an interview that he did with Creativity in 2009 and then referring to the work that he had done in rebranding Domino’s pizza last year.

Andrew has been creative director for the company and was responsible for overseeing ad campaigns for big global clients like Microsoft, Burger King and Kraft. He started out as an art director in 1998 and has steadily moved up.

The announcement of the appointment in AdWeek refers to the somewhat unusual path that Andrew has taken — that is, moving up on the creative side rather than the sales side. (Don Draper lives!): “To be sure, Mr. Keller isn’t cut from the same Brooks Brothers suit fabric as many of his peers in CEO posts at other shops in the industry — the majority of whom came up through account management, planning or operations roles. The creative-to-CEO transition is rare, though there are some prominent examples, such as Wieden & Kennedy CEO Dan Wieden, who among other creative feats wrote Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ tagline.”

For his part, Andrew is quoted as saying, “At the very beginning, I felt like I did something different than what the industry teaches us to do … I wasn’t thinking about my book, I was thinking about how to make the agency the best it could be.”

We’ll take a moment here to point out that Andrew was an English major at W&L. And to congratulate him.

If you know any W&L alumni who would be great profile subjects, tell us about them! Nominate them for a web profile.