Deutsch LA announced today that Karen Costello, who was instrumental in the early success and growth of the agency, will rejoin the company as chief creative officer. Costello, one of the agency’s first creative hires, will lead the creative vision, oversee creative development and champion the culture of the agency working closely with CEO Kim Getty.
“Deutsch LA has always embodied a roll-up-your-sleeves, entrepreneurial spirit and much of that ethos stems from Karen’s imprint and history at the agency,” said Getty. “She helped take us from a small, West Coast shop to an agency with a national footprint, creating work for some of the most-sought after brands. And, when it comes to leading, inspiring and developing innovative creative thinking, Karen is an all-star. Her spirit and optimism provide a gravitational pull that bring people together. This homecoming marks an exciting moment for us—and I can’t wait to be on the same team once again.”
With more than 25 years in advertising, Karen has launched brands, created iconic, long-running campaigns and touched just about every category in marketing from cars to fashion to music. Karen joins Deutsch LA from The Martin Agency where she served as chief creative officer, the first woman CCO in the agency’s history.
During her tenure, the agency experienced double-digit growth, continued to receive multitudes of creative awards and shepherded industry-leading moves toward equitable and inclusive work environments, specifically as one of the first agencies to implement pay equity. She oversaw creative effort for the agency, whose client roster included accounts such as: Oreo, Geico, DoorDash, Old Navy and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Prior to joining The Martin Agency in 2017, Costello served as executive creative director for Deutsch LA where she led creative teams for Target and Zillow, among many others. She was one of the agency’s first creative hires in 1997, helping to drive both creative and new business development, growing Deutsch LA’s footprint from 13 employees to over 400 in its first few years.
Karen is the recipient of numerous industry awards, repeatedly appears on top creative lists, including AdAge’s ‘Women to Watch,’ Adweek’s ‘Trailblazers,’ Refinery29’s ‘Matriarchy Power List’ and No.3 on Business Insider’s ‘Most Creative Women in Advertising.’ She is passionate about creating equitable, inclusive and sustainable work environments, which includes championing leadership roles for women, BIPOC and other underrepresented voices.
“I am a big believer in the power of creativity to solve business problems and I’ve always admired Deutsch’s ambition and entrepreneurial approach,” said Costello. “I love big creative swings and environments that encourage agility and constant learning. It’s a nice full circle moment for me. I’m both honored and humbled to have the opportunity to return and be a part of their next chapter.”
Karen’s return underscores Deutsch LA’s commitment to hiring best-in-class talent. On the back of recent business momentum, the agency has seen an influx of returning talent, including Fernando Barretto, SVP, group account director, Chris MacNeil, SVP, creative director, Armando Samuels, SVP creative director and Eneida Elenes, VP, account director.
The company has also expanded its senior leadership team to include Sorenne Gottlieb, EVP, executive creative director, Donesh Olyaie, EVP, group strategy director and Ayn Howze, EVP, head of advocacy and communications.
Reel 360 wishes Karen the best of luck at Deutsch.