GSW Adds Ex-JWT President

CHICAGO Brian Heffernan, former president of J. Walter Thompson, has been hired as executive vice president of Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer, one of the largest independent healthcare advertising agencies, to help the shop expand its consumer marketing business.

Heffernan will lead the Columbus, Ohio, shop’s consumer group, which will focus on attracting and serving accounts that relate to health and well-being, agency executives said. This type of business may include direct-to-consumer advertising for pharmaceutical products, marketing for over-the-counter products, marketing for health-service companies including hospitals and long-term care facilities, and working with general-market companies developing brands that appeal to today’s health-conscious consumers.

Heffernan, will be responsible for generating new business for the group as well as leading the agency’s existing relationships with consumer clients, such as KeyBank, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio.

Prior to joining GSW, Heffernan spent more than 15 years at JWT, both in senior business-development roles and, most recently, as president of the Chicago office.

Earlier this month, JWT hired former Publicis CEO in New York Barry Krause as president of the Chicago shop.