WestWayne Names Leader for Direct

ATLANTA Seeking to open new revenue streams and expand its service offering, WestWayne has hired Alan Blount, a former vice president of advertising and sponsorships at BellSouth, as vice president of direct marketing, a new position at the struggling shop.

Blount, 41, will build a direct and customer relationship management program within the independent Atlanta agency. The offering will include account management, analytics, production and creative capabilities, he said.

“The opportunity to build an operation from scratch and implement processes to ensure clients get measurable results that move them forward is one of the reasons that joining WestWayne was so enticing,” Blount said.

Blount worked in marketing and brand management at BellSouth for six years before joining WestWayne. He led the development of BellSouth’s recent repositioning effort and contributed to the development of the Cingular brand.

Before joining BellSouth, Blount worked at AT&T in several marketing and sponsorship positions. He was the director of operations for AT&T’s sponsorship of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. He led the design, construction and management of the AT&T Global Olympic Village for the athletes and their families in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park.

WestWayne has been attempting to build some momentum after a couple of slow years. The agency in late 2005 lost the $40 million SunTrust, one of its largest accounts, and has failed to add any significant new business in at least the last 15 months. Billings in 2005 were up 5 percent to roughly $500 million, while revenue rose 3 percent to $51 million.

Blount is the first of two senior managers that the agency’s new CEO, Richard Ward, said he plans to hire. He also is conducting a search for someone to lead the shop’s digital marketing operation. Ward intends to fill that position within the next two months, he said.

Ward, 51, joined the shop in March, seven months after the August departure of Jeff Johnson. COO Jennifer Garr and new business director Kim Hunt left shortly thereafter.