Mullen Gets Frank About Women

Mullen executives at-tribute much of the agency’s new-business success to its consulting unit, Frank About Women.

FAW, formed in March, is headed by Jennifer Ganshirt and Carrie McCament, vice presidents in the agency’s Winston-Salem, N.C., office.

“It’s a logical extension of our female staff and a great way to get new clients,” McCament said.

The unit has contributed to virtually all of the shop’s wins this year, playing a major role in Mullen gaining the $60-75 million Wachovia account this spring, agency executives said.

“We’re impressed that an agen-cy understands the phenomenal growth of the women’s market and is focusing on the needs, desires, complexities and opportunities of women today,” said Gigi Dixon, director of emerging markets at Wachovia.

Thus far in 2002, Mullen’s major wins in addition to Wachovia include Progress Energy, Foster Grant, the Department of Defense’s JRAP initiative, Nextel’s retail outlets and technology concern PTC.

FAW contributes to creative strategy as well. Work for Wa-chovia, set to launch this summer, will likely reflect the bank’s commitment to women as financial decision makers. The unit consulted with the creative team for client T.J. Maxx; recent TV spots play off women’s love for the “sport” of shopping.

The unit’s staff includes about 30 Mullen employees. Key players include group cd Beth Kosuk in Winston-Salem, senior account planner Jennifer Perkins in Pittsburgh, and svp, director of interactive brand planning Rose Cameron, svp, director of design Libby Delana and vp, director of interactive services Seana Mulcahy in Wenham, Mass.

In addition, the unit has formed an alliance with women outside of the agency, including magazine editors and publishers, designers, academics and client marketing directors.

The idea for Frank About Women originated a year ago, McCament said. Over the years, the agency has created campaigns for many brands associated with women, including Oxygen Media, Lifetime, Hanes and Sealy.

Though its staff is mostly female, FAW is “a mind-set,” said Ganshirt, “not an all-girl’s club.”