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Deutsch Trusts Morrissey With Mitsubishi

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After a nationwide search, Deutsch/LA has hired Steve Morrissey to head up its $250 million Mitsubishi account.
Morrissey currently heads the Saturn account at Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco as senior vice president/account director.
Morrissey will begin his new job March 29 as senior vice president, group account director, overseeing all aspects of Deutsch's Mitsubishi account, including national and regional advertising, as well as direct, interactive, collateral and Hispanic work. He will report to Mike Sheldon, executive vice president/general manager at the Marina del Rey, Calif., office, who has handled those duties and will continue to work on that business.
Sheldon said Morrissey's experience on Saturn was a major reason he was chosen for the job. "He was instrumental in taking a brand from nothing to something very special," Sheldon said. "Five years from now, we want to have that kind of amazing turnaround for Mitsubishi."
Aside from his car advertising experience, Morrissey also was the right "cultural fit" for the agency, said Sheldon, who interviewed candidates around the country over the past several months. "He's got that big brain, big heart, thick skin and two degrees off center that we're so fond of here."
The agency began its search for a national account director last summer [Adweek, June 15].
Morrissey, who had been with Riney for more than a decade, said he is leaving the shop on good terms. "I'm not leaving because I'm unhappy. I'm just going for an opportunity to work on a different piece of business with another great shop. I'm honored Deutsch was interested in me and wanted me for this job."
Mitsubishi has enjoyed solid sales growth in the past few months. Its January sales were up 14 percent, mostly from its Galant, Mirage and Montero Sport lines.
--with Michael McCarthy