Doner Hires Creative for Mazda

DETROIT-Doner is bringing in a former Young & Rubicam executive to head up its Mazda account.

Mike Belitsos takes over as executive vice president/executive creative director, supervising the Southfield, Mich. agency’s Mazda Motors North American account. Belitsos will report to John DeCerchio, Doner vice chairman and executive creative director.

DeCerchio has until now overseen creative on the Mazda account as well as all of the agency’s other business. But as the Mazda account and the stable of Doner clients has continued to grow, it makes sense to have someone to assist him, Doner CEO Alan Kalter said.

Belitsos, who worked on Lincoln Mercury while at Y&R, will have about 40 Mazda creatives reporting to him, Kalter said, but unlike his past positions, which involved a lot of administrative work, the new position affords him the chance to focus exclusively on the creative. Belitsos will be based in Southfield, but will travel to the West Coast where Mazda is headquartered. Mazda, Lincoln and Mercury are all Ford brands.

At Y&R in Irvine, Calif, Belitsos was executive vice president and executive creative director on the Lincoln Mercury account. He left the agency last year with plans to teach, but decided instead to stick with advertising.

Belitsos first worked at Doner from 1983 through 1985 as a group creative director. “We always liked him when he worked here and had a great deal of respect over the years for the work he has done from Jeep through Lincoln,” said Kalter.