Wieden Taps Ex-Coke Exec for Top Account Job

Simon Pearce, who left Coca-Cola in October following a restructuring of the marketing department, is joining Wieden + Kennedy here as director of account management. He starts on Jan. 22.

Buz Sawyer, managing director of Wieden in New York, said he chose Pearce because he “appreciates the creative product and has a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He also brings an incredible depth to the agency with his client and agency experience.”

Pearce, 36, was director of na tional brand advertising for Coca-Cola North America for two years, where he worked with 10 agencies to produce marketing and advertising campaigns on all Coke brands in the U.S.

In that role, he worked closely with Wieden’s Portland, Ore., office, which handled Diet Coke until October. He also worked with Wieden in New York on projects for Coke.

Pearce, who is British, has also held posts at Young & Rubicam in London, and D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in London, Warsaw, Poland, and St. Louis.

“I had missed the agency environment,” he said of his new position. “Wieden is a great brand and is offering me an opportunity to continue to grow and evolve that brand in an important market.”

Working at Coke gave him “a unique insight into some of the best agencies in the business,” he said.

Sawyer said Pearce will assist with new business, develop the shop’s account-management team and work closely with select clients.

Wieden New York’s biggest client is ESPN. It also handles Nike apparel, Jordan, Avon and the School of Visual Arts, among others.

Established in 1997, the shop claims billings of $125 million and a staff of 70.