NEW YORK Independent shop SS+K has tapped former Draftfcb digital executive Brad Kay as its new president.
Kay, 38, fills a new role for the 50-person integrated shop as it moves from its roots as a partnership. He will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the New York shop, which counts Delta, MSNBC and Audi among its clients.
Kay served as executive director at Draftfcb until he left the shop in July. For the last several months he has consulted at SS+K, where he worked early in his career as a strategic planner. Its roots in political advocacy were a major draw, he said, since more brands need to create "movements" that attract consumers.
"We're seeing more and more marketers struggle to get traction," he said. "We're going to see a whole new form take shape in social media with advocacy and issue-related campaigns."
SS+K worked as the Barack Obama presidential campaign's youth agency.
Lenny Stern, partner and co-founder of SS+K, said the shop was well-positioned to ride out the recession because more clients would demand nontraditional approaches that use their budgets more efficiently.
"Marketers have less money to spend," he said. "It's not about convincing them to spend more, it's about spending smarter with better strategy. We feel like what we do and how we do it are better positioned for this marketplace."
Kay was an attractive candidate since he knew the SS+K culture, has deep experience in digital media and had run a large department previously, Stern said.
Prior to joining FCB in 2006, Kay was managing partner at Merkley ID. He also worked as director of business development at The Attik.