Doner is expanding its commitment to its West Coast operations, hiring former employee Billy Fried as group managing director for the Newport Beach, Calif., office.
Until now, the Southfield, Mich.-based agency has maintained a presence in the West almost solely to service the Mazda North American Operations account. Fried's chief task will be to develop new business and serve clients other than Mazda.
Alan Kalter, Doner chairman and CEO, called the appointment an "inevitable step in building Doner's West Coast presence."
A primary goal is to tap the region's rich dot.com landscape, Kalter said. From Detroit, Doner this year has picked up duties for AutoTrader.com, coolsavings.com and IntelliFutures, accounts totaling $75 million in billings, Kalter said. "There are new dot.com opportunities in the West all the time, in addition to other companies, and we want someone there who really knows the agency inside and out to represent us day-to-day," he said.
In addition to knowing California, Fried has an advantage in understanding Doner and its culture, Kalter said.
Fried, 42, worked for Doner from 1988-92, handling new business in the agency's Baltimore office. He left to start a publishing venture and launched Your Home, a magazine for home buyers. Most recently he was director of marketing for Los Angeles, a regional monthly.
In his new capacity, Fried will work closely with Kalter, Doner Automotive president Tim Blett, who heads the Newport Beach office, and Bryan Yolles, chief marketing officer.