Lang Rises at MindShare

NEW YORK In a move that signals the growing importance of branded content within the agency, WPP Group’s MindShare has promoted David Lang to president of MindShare Entertainment and named him to the shop’s North American management committee.

In a statement, Scott Neslund, CEO, MindShare North America, stressed the role that content would have in the agency’s offering to clients going forward: “We’re increasing David’s overall role at the agency to show that content development is going to become a cornerstone of all MindShare activities in the future.”

Peter Tortorici, president of GroupM Entertainment, a division of Mindshare parent GroupM, previously held Lang’s new post. The position was left vacant when Tortorici assumed his current title in 2005. Lang reports to both Tortorici and Neslund.

Lang joined MindShare Entertainment as director of programming in 2005. He came from Lorne Michael’s Broadway Video, where he was svp, development and production. Earlier, he was a producer on the Rosie O’Donnell syndicated TV talk show.

“It takes a great team to produce great work,” Lang said in a statement. “These moves will help us create more innovative and effective content for our clients’ brands.”

MindShare Entertainment confirmed additional staff changes as well. Steven Piluso has become director of content strategy, a new position. Piluso was senior partner and strategic planning director within MindShare. Gregory Manago has been promoted to supervising producer, from producer, and freelance producer Lindsay Gravin joins as producer. All three report to Lang.

In the past two years, Lang has shepherded a number of high-profile branded entertainment projects, including Dove Calming Nights for client Unilever and In the Motherhood for Unilever and Sprint. The latter has been renewed for a second cycle of five episodes that will launch in the first quarter of 2008.