Agency to Expand in Houston; Motown’s McDonald Put in Charge
DETROIT–J. Walter Thompson’s office here led the agency’s charge to reel in Shell Oil’s $60-70 million U.S. account, resigned earlier by sister WPP Group shop Ogilvy & Mather.
JWT Detroit, which has a substantial retail division, had been working to land the domestic Shell business for the past four years, according to Steve Brown, the office’s general manager and executive vice president. The agency handles the bulk of Shell’s advertising overseas.
To handle Shell on these shores, JWT is setting up a full-service office in Houston, to be headed by Mike McDonald, currently executive management director on diversified products, including the Domino’s Pizza field marketing account, in Detroit. McDonald, 47, has been named co-managing director of JWT Houston, Brown said.
A search is under way for a creative director to partner with McDonald, Brown said.
JWT currently operates a small field marketing office in Houston focused on the Ford Motor Co. account. The outpost moves into the same building O&M had used before it shuttered that operation upon resigning the Shell business.
JWT Houston is due to open Feb. 15 and will include some employees from O&M who previously handled Shell, as well as the existing Ford team.
The Detroit office will continue to assist Houston in a variety of areas, including database management, direct mail and creative, Brown said. Other former clients of O&M Houston–notably Randall’s supermarkets–have indicated they are willing to give the JWT outpost the chance to take over their accounts.
Houston will be the JWT network’s seventh full-service office, and will start with more than 60 staffers. Once established, it will pursue new accounts, Brown said. Likely targets are within categories where the network is absent, such as airlines or computers. (Both Continental Airlines and Compaq are based in Houston.)
Angus Fraser and Joe Kilgore, the former co-managing directors of O&M Houston, are heading to posts at other O&M offices. Fraser becomes co-managing director of O&M Los Angeles. It is still being determined where Kilgore will go, Brown said.
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