Allen & Gerritsen has hired Jackson Collins as director of account planning and Steve Briggs as a group marketing director.
The agency in Watertown, Mass., with nearly $100 million in billings, ranks among the region's largest independents and has been trying for the past year to expand from its business-to-business base into a more mainstream niche.
Adding Collins and Briggs, both of whom have big-brand experience at consumer-focused companies, further enhances the services A&G can make available to clients, said agency president Andrew Graff.
"With all the experience they have ... they will help round out A&G's capabilities," Graff said.
The two executives join A&G as it continues diversifying its client mix to provide a platform for an improved creative product, he said.
Collins becomes the shop's first in-house senior planner, though he's previously worked with A&G under the aegis of marketing consulting company BAIGlobal, Tarrytown, N.Y.
That company assisted A&G with research for its State Street Corp. account. Recent ads for the client were themed, "Everything you invest in."
Collins has also worked at U.K. consultancies, where he led projects for clients such as the BBC, General Motors, Procter & Gamble and Virgin Atlantic.
Calling A&G "a young, vibrant agency [that] really feels like it's going places," Collins said the chance to build a planning function was a strong lure.
Though he is used to overseeing efforts for global clients, Collins said he looks forward to working on a somewhat smaller stage. "The danger with big brands is, you get into a 'been there, done that' situation. Small, regional clients give you an opportunity to shine."
Briggs will run three diverse accounts—The 99 Restaurants, Houghton Mifflin and Segue Software—on a daily basis. Most recently, he held marketing posts at Compaq's Digital Equipment and FairMarket. In the mid-1990s, he was an account supervisor at Mullen, Wenham, Mass.