An Expanding Doner Creates Comm. Division

W.B. Doner & Co., which has established a West Coast presence to service the estimated $250 million Mazda North American Operations account, is expanding its communications efforts.
Agency, media and automotive veteran David Kiley has been hired as senior vice president, marketing communications, and Pat Baskin has been promoted to senior vice president, corporate communications. The two will help lead a new communications division that will “further define and communicate our efforts to the marketplace, the media and our employees,” said Alan Kalter, chairman and chief executive officer of the Southfield, Mich.-based agency.
The new division will work closely on Mazda with Doner’s Irvine, Calif., office. Opened last October to service the automaker, the office now has over 50 staffers and mainly handles account service, with creative duties remaining in Southfield.
Kalter left open the possibility that the Irvine office will seek other clients, as other automotive-focused shops such Team One Advertising, El Segundo, Calif., have done.
The focus on communications is the result of rapid expansion at Doner, which has nearly doubled in size to $1 billion in billings over the last year, Kalter said. The new division plans to work closely with Mazda’s in-house communications team and its public relations agency, Hill & Knowlton in Irvine, Calif.
Kiley, former vice president of marketing communications for Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, and automotive columnist for Brandweek, will develop brand communication strategies for Doner clients, with an emphasis on integrating different disciplines such as event planning, public relations and sales promotion. He will also handle media relations.