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Rupert Runewitsch

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Leo Burnett Hires Paul Earle to Lead Farmhouse

Leo Burnett Chicago announced the hire of Paul Earle as Executive Director of Farmhouse, the agency’s innovation and new venture center. Earle is charged with executing Farmhouse’s mission to conceive and develop new-to-the-world products, services and experiences. The new center will provide an upstream complement to Leo Burnett’s core marketing communications business.

Described not as a “think tank” but rather as a “do tank,” Farmhouse has already been retained for new product assignments by several of the agency’s top existing clients. In addition, Farmhouse has forged ties with the new business incubators 1871 and Impact Engine; is sponsoring Northwestern’s Kellogg Innovation Network and the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship; is working on a revenue sharing arrangement with a leading digital technology company; and is developing a new consumer wellness product of its own. More background about Farmhouse can be found at

Prior to opening the branding and innovation consultancy Paul Earle & Co. in 2009, Paul served as President of River West Brands LLC, a brand acquisition and redevelopment firm that he founded in 2001. Through a novel approach to partnering with retailers, innovation houses, private capital, and other entrepreneurs, River West helped brands like Nuprin analgesics, Coleco toys, Eagle snacks, and Salon Selectives shampoo return to the marketplace after periods of dormancy.

Prior to River West, Paul worked in brand management at Kraft Foods outside Chicago,where he primarily focused on the prepared pasta business, one of Kraft’s flagships. He began his marketing career at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, where he worked on the development of advertising, brand strategy, and new product concepts for such clients as General Mills, British Airways, and Johnson & Johnson.

In academia, Earle is an adjunct member of the faculty at the University of Chicago Graham School, where he teaches “Branding for Competitive Advantage,” as well as a delegate to Northwestern University’s Kellogg Innovation Network, a platform for collaboration between the Kellogg faculty and innovation leaders in both the corporate world and government.