Van Note Jilts M/W for BBDO

In an unexpected move, former Fallon associate planner Mary Van Note has opted to join BBDO Minneapolis.

Van Note had been expected to become one of three group account planners at Martin/-Williams [Adweek, June 25]. But she said the chance to build her own department was too appealing to pass up.

“At that point, I didn’t know about the opportunity at BBDO,” Van Note said. “Martin/Williams has a planning department … BBDO doesn’t have a planning department, but they want one.”

In the past, BBDO’s Minneapolis office had relied on the agency’s New York headquarters to fill its planning needs. But clients have increasingly demanded a constant presence and understanding of their businesses, she said.

“When you bring someone in from another part of the company, you don’t get them as involved as if they were on staff,” she said.

Van Note, whose title will be vice president/-director of strategy, said she expects to build a planning department that will emphasize action over theory. She plans to keep the department small at first.

“I like the intimate scale [here], but I think it needs to be more than me,” she said. “I want it to be a handful of people who can service all our clients.”

Martin/Williams is not expected to fill the group account planner post slotted for Van Note, agency officials said.