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About James Gough


Gough started his advertising career as an art director in New York's McCann-Erickson, working on iconic brands like L'oreal, Xbox, Black & Decker, Gillette, Sprint, Verizon, Bic and Coca-Cola.


He was then recruited by JWT Detroit to join the Ford advertising team, launching new and redesigned vehicles like the Mustang, F-Series, Edge, Fusion, Focus, Escape, Flex and Expedition. He also created award-winning work for brands like AutoWeek magazine and The Tiger Stadium Conservancy.


To bolster their national talent pool, Gough spent six years as a creative director at Marcus Thomas LLC in Cleveland, where he led his team to become the top-earning group in the agency in less than three years with such clients as GE Lighting, Diebold, Swagelok, Sherwin-Williams, Sirva, North American Moving Services, Allied, TimkenSteel, Quanex, FirstEnergy, Black Flag and Nestle

As Executive Creative Director for Performance Health, he helped concept, construct, staff, manage and grow a highly-competitive, full-service creative agency. His work on brands like Biofreeze, Theraband, Cramer and Bon Vital' helped the company build, then launch top brands into major retail markets, create successful national campaigns and exceed profit forecasts by double digits.

He came to Columbia Sportswear to lead creative efforts as Global Managing Director of Creative, where he introduced new systems of creative production, strategy and ideation of all global assets. As head of Columbia's global creative team, he used an in-house agency model that improved efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness, allowing them to complete 16 months of creative production in less than 9 months.

He is currently Creative Director a Cadence Preferred, where he oversees creative development of creative collaborations between Microsoft and several of their partner companies.


Gough also freelances as Creative Director and owner of Overactive Creative LLC, where he is able to roll up his sleeves and dig into all aspects of the creative process, like art direction, copywriting, designing, illustration, motion graphics animation, editing and producing. He's always felt the best creative leaders should "do" as well as direct. And there is no better playing field for a coach to hone their skills a player than in the freelance world.


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Tel: 914.843.0790

Find me on LinkedIn



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