Harris to Direct Strategy at TBWA\C\D, S.F.

LOS ANGELES TBWA\Chiat\Day has promoted Mike Harris to director of strategy at its San Francisco office, said Michael Allen, president.

Harris, 38, was a group account director overseeing Fox Sports Net, Starz/Encore and Uncle Ben’s, the one account on which he will relinquish duties in order to serve new business, as client Masterfoods USA is based in Vernon, Calif., closer to the agency’s Los Angeles office.

Harris fills a new position designed to give the San Francisco office its own strategic muscle. “We’ve typically partnered with planners in Los Angeles, which will continue,” Harris said, “but this concentrates strategic initiatives here.” His replacement on Uncle Ben’s will be Brenda Ross, account director in Los Angeles.

Harris is a veteran of San Francisco shops McCann-Erickson, Young & Rubicam, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Publicis & Hal Riney. His experience includes “a diverse account management background,” he said. “That depth of knowledge will help when focusing on strategy. We need that in this business, both in pro-active prospecting and in being reactive.

“I’ve always thought the senior account person has to be a strategic partner, and that you should be looking at clients holistically,” Harris added. “Over the years, I’ve had a lot of conversations with clients that weren’t about advertising, where the brand is and needs to go.”