MPG Looks To Keep Win Streak Alive

Last month, Havas media shop MPG quietly won a major new client, ExxonMobil, with annual ad spending of $110 million, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Then last week, the agency signed Jody Sutter as svp and director of business development.

One could be forgiven for finding Sutter’s hire anticlimactic, but MPG is hoping that it won’t be. The ExxonMobil account is the capstone of a six-month streak in which MPG has put together a string of new-business wins with total estimated billings of $300 million. The new accounts range in size from ExxonMobil to Bass Pro Shops, which spent $15 million in ads last year, per TNS Media Intelligence, to International Truck and Engine, which spent $2 million, also per TNS.

Sutter’s mission is to keep that momentum going, or even accelerate it, according to Charlie Rutman, who joined MPG as CEO North America a little over a year ago.

Since his arrival, developing new business has been a team effort at the agency, said Rutman. “But we really need someone to take ownership of that area, which is our primary growth engine,” he said.

“It’s not a part-time job, and it’s not just about pitching,” said Rutman. “It’s about marketing ourselves, our prospecting and our relationships with creative agencies. The responsibilities are huge.”

Sutter, who will oversee a two- person new business team that includes staffers in the New York and Boston office, was previously director of business development at OMD East, where she was part of the team that helped win Lowe’s, Bank of America and Hilton Hotels last year. Said Sutter, “What’s appealing about this place is the focus, drive and dedication of the team that’s in place. I want to jump in and help build something really strong.”