Lachky to Leave

A-B’s marketing brain for 20 years is moving on

Bob Lachky, Chief Creative Officer for A-B and who for two decades has helped craft trademark campaigns from “Whassup?” to “I love you, man” to the Budweiser frogs to “Real men of genius,” is leaving the company at the end of February in what he calls a “generational change.” He says that A-B’s sale to InBev of Belgium has nothing to do with the decision. “I just felt this was the perfect time for me to reevaluate,” he says.

Lachky, who played a key role in helping A-B become a dominant advertiser on the Super Bowl, joked that he was “fired more times than Billy Martin” for some of the zany ideas that emanated from his department, Jeremiah McWilliams reports. Lachky says he intends to “explore new challenges and opportunities” but he rules out working for the competition. “I’m a Bud man,” he says.

A team of senior executives — many of them groomed by Lachky — will take on newly decentralized creative functions. His departure will not be welcome news at A-B’s roster of creative agencies, however, which regarded him as their primary client and a key personal relationship, according to Ad Age’s Jeremy Mullman. Before joining A-B in 1989, Lachky worked at its current lead agency, Omnicom Group’s DDB, Chicago, reporting directly to Ron Bess, who today is North American chairman of Euro RSCG, another A-B roster shop that works on Michelob.