Tribal DDB Regroups

Three months after cutting its staff by a third, interactive agency Tribal DDB’s New York headquarters has a new business win and brought on a new general manager to help handle it. Direct marketing and in teractive consultant Rob ert Palmer has joined as gm, and the shop has won online marketing duties for Abbott Laboratories’ immunology division.

Palmer, 52, reports to Tribal DDB Worldwide CEO Matt Freeman. The new hire, who joined last week, replaces Christopher Ross, who left the agency six months ago to become worldwide account director at DDB in New York. Tribal DDB’s former COO, Steven Marrs, absorbed Ross’ duties on an interim basis until he left in April to start his own venture.

“New York was the problem child,” said Freeman. “It’s been a tough market. But now, [the office] is doing well, and we’re hiring again.”

In April, Tribal DDB cut 12 staffers in New York, or about 33 percent of its work force, due to the soft economy and cuts in client spending. Tribal DDB New York currently has about 22 staffers servicing accounts such as Pepsi, New York State Lottery and American Stock Exchange.

The Abbott win followed a review of several other, undisclosed agencies, Freeman said. The first assignment entails marketing a new, un named drug, to be released later this year. Billings were undisclosed. McCann-Erickson in New York handles Abbott’s main ad account.

Palmer consulted for 12 years and also has held executive positions at Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson. At Tribal DDB, he will focus on the office’s daily management, including account supervision, new-business efforts and employment.