Omaha, Neb.-based Bailey Lauerman has hired Greg Andersen, former U.S. president of Omnicom's RAPP, as its new CEO. Andersen, who started the job this week, replaced Andy Fletcher, who departed in July after more than four years in the role.
Andersen, a Nebraska native, brings more than 25 years of agency experience to the independent shop.
"I am truly honored to be joining Bailey Lauerman," Andersen told Adweek. "It is an agency that I have known intimately and kept an eye on for some time, not just because of my Nebraska roots but because of its national profile, my appreciation of its work and my history on the global board of the Effie Awards, where Bailey Lauerman has always done well."
Bailey Lauerman chairman and chief creative officer Carter Weitz said in a statement: "Greg knows how to inspire teams to develop the kind of work that brands need to be successful today—work that is emotional, culturally relevant and harnesses the continuous evolution of media and technology. He also has a great deal of integrity—something that is demonstrated in what clients and colleagues consistently say about working with him, as well as in his commitment to fostering change that is needed in our industry."
Andersen also sees great growth potential for the Midwestern market, which recently earned the nickname "Silicon Prairie" due to the influx of technology companies and other startups seeking a more affordable base of operations. He said he plans to aggressively work on new business initiatives at Bailey Lauerman and foresees the shop pitching against agencies owned by major international holding companies.
"We are a national agency, we run national brands, and we consider ourselves to have a national footprint," he said, adding, "We want to continue on the path to being a world-class agency with the output to compete with any other agency in the U.S."
Prior to joining RAPP Los Angeles in 2013, Andersen spent almost six years with BBH in New York and eventually assumed the U.S. CEO role at the Publicis shop, which was named 4A's Mid-Sized Agency of the Year more than once during his tenure. Earlier in his career, he held top accounts and strategy roles at several New York-based shops including EURO RSCG, Merkley + Partners and Lowe. And he has worked with major brands such as Google, Cadillac, Toyota, Westin Hotels, Axe and Mattel.
Andersen made headlines in May when he filed a lawsuit against his former boss, RAPP global CEO Alexei Orlov. The suit accused Orlov of discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination, alleging that he had fired Andersen after the latter filed complaints with the company's human resources department regarding the chief executive's allegedly discriminatory behavior. Orlov resigned the following month, and Andersen's case continues to make its way through the Los Angeles County court system.
Bailey Lauerman's client roster includes Disney, Panda Express, Phillips 66, TD Ameritrade and Union Pacific. It also serves as creative agency of record for the Nebraska Tourism Commission and has released several award-winning campaigns encouraging viewers to visit the state.