Berlin Cameron Taps Planning Chief

Carla Serrano is used to stepping outside the everyday.

Heading into the Labor Day weekend, the native Canadian was set to go on her family’s annual camping trip, where obtaining the “the most basic things, like water, food and shelter, require a lot of physical exertion,” she said. “It’s purifying.”

This week, Serrano begins her new job as head of account planning at WPP Group’s Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, a new post at the estimated $800 million shop. She will manage a staff of 10, said Ewen Cameron, the New York agency’s CEO. Last month, Serrano left her job as one of three planning directors at Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York.

“As I focus more on the CEO role, there’s more of a need for someone to run the [planning] department,” said Cameron, who has served as the shop’s top planner and creative director on Coke Classic. “She has natural charisma without a big ego.”

Serrano, 33, reports to agency president Bill Grogan.

Serrano is one of several senior hires the shop has made during the past year. In the wake of adding about $500 million in new billings since January (from clients such as Coke Classic, Pfizer’s Zyrtec and Boost Mobile), the agency has doubled its staff to about 100, sources said.

Agency execs would not comment on billings or staff size.

Serrano, who has a degree in English literature from McGill University in Montreal, liked what she termed the shop’s creative-boutique approach for large global clients. “It allows for flexibility for different ideas, but I also like working on big, global brands,” she said.

At TBWA\C\D, Serrano managed a staff of three junior planners. In her four years there, she worked on Cadbury chocolates and A&E Networks, among others. Serrano began her career in 1993 at TBWA\C\D in Toronto and moved to BBDO there before joining TBWA\C\D in New York.