Cossette N.Y. Names New Leader

NEW YORK Cossette Communications has tapped Sally Kennedy, former North American chief marketing officer at Young & Rubicam, as president of its New York office.

Kennedy, who starts today, succeeds Lance Smith, who left in May after four years. She will partner with chief creative officer Robert Reiser in leading the 55-person shop, whose clients include the U.S. Coast Guard, KeySpan Corp. and McGraw-Hill.

Cossette, which considered a handful of candidates for the position, hired Kennedy because of “her character, what I would call a cultural fit,” said Colin Schleining, executive vice president of Cossette Communication Group. “She’s a builder, not a manager.”

Schleining, to whom Kennedy reports, added that she has a “great attitude” and is “obsessed with getting results. And that’s what we need.”

Kennedy, 46, left Y&R in December after eight years at the WPP Group shop. From 1998 until 2005, she worked in Y&R’s San Francisco office, first as an account director and later as svp, marketing and sales. Then, in April 2005, she moved to New York to take on the North American role, which she held for nearly two years.

Cossette, a unit of Cossette Communication Group in Quebec City, Canada, has estimated billings of $50-60 million. In addition to advertising, the agency offers public relations, design, sports marketing and direct marketing services.

“There’s plenty of demand in the market for a mid-sized agency offering clients hands-on, senior management [and] one that delivers a fully convergent service offering under one roof,” said Kennedy.

Other clients include Carlsburg, MasterCard Advisors (for which it handles direct marketing tasks), Estee Lauder (interactive projects) and General Motors (direct marketing).