GMO Hires TBWA\C\D Pair to Chase New Business

In a move designed to help the shop aggressively court new business, GMO/Hill, Holliday has hired two TBWA\Chiat\Day veterans with experience on accounts such as Sony PlayStation and Nissan.

Jenifer Wallrapp and Lisa Welch-Nehring were each named vice president and group account director. Together, they will handle new-business development at the San Francisco agency.

GMO president Nancy Hill said she has been trying to hire both women for some time.

“This is such a natural fit, as the three of us have been trying to find a way to work together,” Hill said. “We expect that their considerable talents and experience will pay immediate dividends.”

Wallrapp, 31, was most recently a management supervisor at TBWA\C\D in San Fran cisco, where she worked on Pets.com and helped launch wireless Internet service Omni Sky. Prior to that, she worked on AT&T Wireless at McCann-Erickson and FCB Worldwide.

Welch-Nehring, 31, spent six years at TBWA\C\D in Playa del Rey, Calif., working on Nissan, Infiniti, PlayStation and Apple Computer. She left for a year to work as strategic planning director for Wieden + Kennedy in New York, then returned to TBWA\C\D in San Francisco in July 1999.

During her second stint, she was group planning director for Levi’s, PlayStation and OmniSky. She also crafted the launch strategy for PlayStation2.

GMO/Hill, Holliday was formed last spring through the merger of Boston-based Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and the former Goldberg Moser O’Neill in San Francisco. Hill, Holliday also has a New York office. The agency is part of the Interpublic Group.

Among GMO’s clients are Beringer Wine Estates, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola, Fatbrain.com, Friendly’s restaurants and Lucas Arts Entertainment. The agency also recently won the $12 million Broadvision account.