Ogilvy Enlists Brand Exec

NEW YORK Ogilvy & Mather has expanded its brand experience practice with the addition of Kym Blanchard, a former marketing executive from the magazine industry who takes the new role of director of branded alliances.

Blanchard, former associate publisher of Vibe, is tasked with forging alliances between agency clients and brands in the “print, outdoor and event zone,” said Ogilvy New York managing director Andy Berndt, to whom she reports. She will work closely with Doug Scott, executive director for branded content and entertainment—who focuses on film and entertainment—and chief strategic officer Colin Mitchell.

Scott, whose role also was new, joined the WPP Group agency in June. Both posts are designed to round out the shop’s nontraditional creative offering.

“There’s so much work in this area [that] if we had a dozen Dougs that would be fabulous,” Berndt said. “We’re looking for certain kinds of thinkers” who have different “points of view, talents and experience. People who can think across disciplines.”

Blanchard helped produce the Vibe MusicFest and developed multimedia brand partnerships around the Vibe Music Awards. Before that, she held marketing posts at Essence, InStyle, People and Real Simple.

Beyond Blanchard’s past experience, Berndt was impressed by her intelligence, “savvy” and “sense of style.” He sees her as being as comfortable around client executives as agency colleagues.

“This is a great opportunity to work at the idea-generation stage with the creative department and a client so that we can bring clients ideas that go beyond traditional media solutions,” Blanchard said, in a statement. “When you start at the beginning stage, it makes the end solution more comprehensive and successful.”

Ogilvy’s key clients include American Express, BP, IBM, Kodak and Unilever.