David Lubars

Chief Executive Officer/Chief Creative Officer


Age: 38

Since joining BBDO West in 1993, CEO and chief creative officer David Lubars watched as the agency’s core account, Apple Computer Inc., “almost imploded in front of him,” as one ad industry observer put it.

And yet despite its problems, Apple has kept BBDO West as its agency a testament to the computer company’s recognition that the ads weren’t the problem, according to Tom Hollerbach, executive vice president and general manager of BBDO West.

“Companies usually strike out first at their ad agencies when they have problems such as these,” said Bollerbach.

Apple’s television ads have won widespread recognition for their creativity and sense of humor. But Lubars said the ads didn’t always run long enough to have the desired effect something that he expects to change.

“A lot of the Apple campaigns were good and needed to run longer than they have, and now we’re going to run them longer and make them more focused on the products and innovations,” Lubars said.

“David Lubars deserves a combat medal for navigating the Apple account through a rough period,” said Bradley Johnson, Los Angeles bureau chief for Advertising Age. “David has also worked to diversify BBDO’s account roster to make it less dependent on Apple Computers.”

Lubars came to head BBDO’s creatives at the invitation of its then-CEO Steve Hayden, who shortly thereafter cut town for a job in New York, leaving Lubars to take over.

Part of Lubars’s job is to ensure the firm won’t itself sink if Apple bites the dust or walks to a new firm.

He seems to be doing that. The agency has seen more than $200 million worth of new billings over the past two years, the most recent of which came in its April 2 announcement that it won the $18 million Best Western Hotels account.

Under Lubars’s leadership, BBDO West took first place at this year’s Beldings awards in the “Complete Campaign” category for its L.A. Cellular campaign.

Wade Daniels

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