I’m a freelance writer/creative director.

I’ve worked at 6 amazing places:

  1.  Blackboardco/Austin, Texas.
  2.  TBWA/Chiat/LA.
  3.  Wieden/Amsterdam.
  4.  Wieden/Portland.
  5.  Goodby/San Francisco.
  6.  Cole&Weber/Portland.


ECD/Partner, Blackboardco, Austin, Texas. At Blackboardco I helped win and then
launch many campaigns for such brands as The State of New Mexico Tourism,
Sylvania Auto Lights, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine to name just a few.

Before Blackboardco. I was creative director of Nissan North America at
TBWA\ChiatDayLA. While at Chiat, I was also responsible for such brands as Visa,
Uncle Ben’s, Leap Frog, and Pepsi. (Thank Lee and Rob.)

Before Chiat, I was at Wieden+Kennedy, Portland where I worked on Nike, Miller, Powerade, Stamps.com and was CD of Nike Latin America and I spent some time in Europe at Wieden/Amsterdam where I ran Vodafone and Powerade. (Thanks Dan and Jim.)

Before that, I worked at Goodby Silverstein and Partners in San Francisco where I launched campaigns for Got Milk?, the Porsche Boxster, Sega, Haggar Clothing Co. and Alaska Airlines. (Thanks Jeff and Rich.)

I started my career Cole & Weber/Portland where I created campaigns for Doc Marten Shoes, The Oregonian and Klein Bikes.

And now I’m available for freelance.


Joe’s father was exposed to nuclear radiation three times in 1954 while working at
a nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

As scary as that sounds, it was actually a good thing. As a result of his father’s
nuclear exposure, he has double-jointed fingers — his fingers bend back — two-tone hair and an uncanny knack for creating effective, award-winning advertising. (It’s also rumored he glows in the dark…but that’s NOT true.)

Joe started his career at Cole & Weber in Portland, Oregon where he created legendary campaigns for Doc Martens Shoes, The Oregonian and Klein Bikes.

After making quite the name for himself and winning a wheelbarrow-full of awards, he then traveled to San Francisco to learn from legendary ad men Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein.

While at Goodby he helped launch “Got Milk?” and the Porsche Boxster. He also created award-winning campaigns for Isuzu, Finlandia Vodka and Haggar Clothing Company.

But Joe’s love for all things rain-drenched and moldy grew too strong to ignore so, in he returned to Oregon to work for Wieden+Kennedy.

Under Dan and Jim Riswold’s guidance, he created campaigns for Nike, Diet Coke, Miller Brewing Company, Stamps.com and Powerade. He was also creative director of Nike Latin America.

Joe then moved to Amsterdam to run Vodafone — one of the largest, most powerful telecom companies in the world — and Powerade/Europe.

He soon traveled back to the states to help Lee Clow at TBWA\Chiat\Day LA.

At Chiat, he was creative director of Nissan North America. In the first three years there, he lead 16 new vehicle launches and gave Shift_ a whole new meaning. He also helped redefine Visa, he completely contemporized the Uncle Ben’s Rice brand and, as if that wasn’t enough, he helped win and relaunch the entire Pepsi brand under the Refresh banner and helped guide the award-winning launch of the “I’m good!” campaign for Pepsi Max.

Joe then took all that experience and knowledge and opened his wn agency in Austin, Texas – Blackboardco. He managed and won many new business wins and campaigns while at Blackboard, for brands like: Nike, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine, Tillamook Cheese and Ice Cream, The State of New Mexico Tourism, Sylvania Auto Lights just to name a few.

All of the brands that he has ever touched (if I can embarrass him for a moment) benefited from his unique voice, market insight, leadership, craftsmanship and talent.

Over the years, Joe’s been Adweeks Art Director of the year (now he’s a writer so…so much for that award) and he’s won every award that there is to be won.

All in all, Joe’s proof-positive that good living, hard work and nuclear power can get you a long way in life.

And I am proud to call him my friend.

– Ron Saltmarsh