The team at LBB was heartbroken to learn of the death of the talented, passionate and much-loved director Jeff Labbe this week. He was 53 years old and is survived by his wife, two children and two brothers. Our thoughts go out to his family as well as his friends and collaborators across the industry.
Jeff was loved and respected around the world – as was his work. As a commercial director, he built up a creaking awards shelf of D&AD Pencils and Cannes Lions – in fact in his first year on the job his spots Levis ‘Secrets & Lies’ and the shocking Barnardos ‘Break The Cycle’ for BBH took home a slew of awards.
But before becoming a commercials director, Jeff had an eclectic series of jobs, from fine artist to rodeo rider. He then became a graphic designer and worked at agencies like Wieden+Kennedy Portland, Chiat/Day San Francisco and Leo Burnett Chicago - covered in a great podcast with Ben Kay back in 2016
Since his death, there has been an outpouring of love and affection across social media, with current and former colleagues praising his wit, enthusiasm, energy, sense of fun and empathy as well as his talent behind the camera. A New Orleans native, his gentle, charming manners meant that a conversation with Jeff was always a delight.
He was most recently represented by Academy Films in the UK and Furlined in the US and The Sweet Shop in Australasia. Academy posted the following message:
"It is with immense sadness that we have to report the news that Jeff Labbe passed away early on Monday morning. Jeff was a hugely talented writer, director, and photographer, and an intensely passionate, funny, loyal and loving man with an infectious laugh, and a heart as big as his beloved Louisiana. He will be desperately missed by all who were lucky enough to have known and worked with him. The industry has lost a true maverick and we have lost a true friend."
The memorial service will be on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, his family has set up a college fund on GoFundMe
for the continued education and college attendance of Jeff’s 11 year old son, Cadow.