Doe-Anderson’s Payne to Retire

Doe-Anderson executive vice president Phil Payne will retire at the end of the year.

“Phil has played an invaluable role in the agency’s leadership as we transformed from a small shop to a very strong industry player,” said Doe-Anderson president and chief executive officer Dave Wilkins.

Payne was instrumental in landing some of the agency’s high-profile accounts like Frigidaire, National City Bank and North American Van Lines, said Wilkins.

Payne, 60, joined the Louisville, Ky., independent shop in 1968 as a copywriter. He became an account executive three years later when the agency acquired the Devoe Paints business.

“It was a different era then; agencies were not as stratified,” said Payne. “I thought if I didn’t like it, I could go back [to copywriting], but I got intrigued with servicing the clients and dealing with the strategic side of the business.”

He also established the agency’s public relations department and has served as president and chairman of the Advertising and Marketing International Network, an association of independent agencies in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Payne’s responsibilities will be dispersed among the shop’s management team. He said he probably will do some consulting work with the agency and with other shops in the network.

“We’re often asked to talk through how we managed our culture when we were growing beyond a local orientation” he said.

Payne said small agencies need to get key decision makers to work as a team. “It’s hard to do,” he said. “You have to get rid of egos and remember that clients with accounts over $10 million look for teams that are already assembled.”

One key decision the shop made five years ago was to strengthen its creative by hiring Jim White, who had been executive creative director at Mullen in Winston-Salem, N.C., then Long Haymes Carr. Payne said management made a point of hiring creatives with experience in “large-client situations.”

“Now we have a core we can count on that clients don’t feel diminished by in going to a regional agency,” he said.

Doe-Anderson has grown from billings of $39 million in 1996 to an estimated $140 million in 2002. In 2000, it won $40 million in business from R.J. Reynolds, but lost it a year later.

“We managed to replace that loss with four or five other accounts,” said Payne. “To do that you must be vigilant in [courting] new business.”