Draft Names Weisman CMO

DraftWorldwide is the latest shop to create a chief marketing officer position, tapping Tony Weisman for the role and charging him with going beyond pursuing new business to crafting and selling the agency brand.

Weisman, 42, spent 19 years at Leo Burnett before joining Draft last year as new business director. “The mandate the agency has is to craft in the marketplace a clear and distinctive idea of what Draft’s all about,” Weisman said. “You’re often known for what you used to be. Howard [Draft, CEO] himself is an icon in direct marketing.”

The promotion is part of the shop’s efforts to push its integrated marketing services and expand the perception of its brand beyond its direct mail origins. Other agencies that have created CMO positions recently to help tout their images include DDB in New York, whose CMO is Abigail Hirschorn, and Young & Rubicam in Chicago, where Doug Ryan is in that role.

Weisman reports to Draft’s Chicago president, Yvonne Furth. “It’s not just about cross-selling disciplines, it’s about looking at each client to make sure we’re doing the best work possible,” she said.

Furth said the breadth of Weisman’s experience at Burnett contributed to his promotion. Plus, she added, “He’s aggressive.”

Weisman worked on several of Draft’s 2002 new-business pitches, such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, for which TV and print ads broke last month. The shop, which in 1997 changed its name from DraftDirect, moved heavily into promotions that year and has expanded its events capabilities.

Before leaving Burnett, Weisman was at Northstar, its direct and database unit. Units like Northstar, now part of iLeo, are a sign shops may be moving toward closer positions in the marketplace, he said. “I think we all recognize the value of integrated offerings,” he said.