Venn Takes Charge of Y&R Detroit

CHICAGO WPP Group’s Y&R has promoted Paul Venn to North American managing partner, overseeing the Y&R Advertising and Wunderman operations in the Detroit area effective immediately. He replaces Donald Williams, a 16-year agency veteran, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Venn, 47, was most recently director of strategy for WPP’s Ford business team, where he directed the holding company’s approach to the carmaker’s account. In his new post, he will oversee Y&R’s operations in the Motor City, which handles the Lincoln and Mercury divisions.

“Y&R has handled the Lincoln Mercury business for over 25 years; there’s a deep understanding of the business and a passion for the brands,” said Venn. “It’s a privilege to lead the next phase of this special relationship.”

He will report to Y&R North America CEO Gordon McLean.

Venn, a native of Liverpool, England, joined Y&R in 1994, working mainly on the Ford brand in Europe. He was managing partner of RKCR/Y&R London, working on the Ford of Britain business and contributing to the agency’s Land Rover account win. He’s also had stints at Butterfield Day Devito Hockney, Geers Goss and Foote Cone & Belding, all in London.