Straw to Join BBDO

NEW YORK — Looking to back up its flair for advertising spectacle and beef up its strategic-thinking credentials, BBDO has hired Martyn Straw to the new position of chief strategy officer, effective June 3.

Straw, 48, is an account planning veteran and former president, U.S. of Omnicom brand consultancy Interbrand. He will report to BBDO New York president and CEO Bill Katz.

Under Straw’s supervision will be 50 staffers in BBDO’s strategic services department, which creates proprietary tools to collect consumer data, and measure ad and branding effectiveness. Straw said he wants to strengthen BBDO’s account planning, instilling a more media-neutral approach to the advertising.
“We are best known for our work that people see,” Katz said of the creative product. “But it is based on very strong, insightful research.”

Although Straw’s main mission is strategy, Katz said his hiring also will facilitate steps taken in the last four years toward marketing integration by the shop, best known for its lavish TV campaigns for clients such as Pepsi, KFC and Frito-Lay.

Those steps included the formation of interactive division Atmosphere, its partnership with direct response firm Targetbase and its affiliation with entertainment/ethnic marketer SR Communications.

Before joining Interbrand, Straw was director of account planning at then-Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York. He has also worked at Ogilvy & Mather and Saatchi & Saatchi, both New York, and Leo Burnett, London.

David Martin, executive director at Interbrand, replaces Straw as president, U.S. of Interbrand.