CHICAGO Independent agency Northlich, whose clients include Procter & Gamble, Valvoline and Brown Foreman, is expanding to New York. The shop has hired former P&G marketing executive John Bess to head a new office there as group president.
Most recently, Bess was president and chief operating officer of International Home Foods. During his 21-year tenure at P&G, he rose to the level of vice president and general manager, working on brands such as Crest, Pampers, Dawn and Pantene.
"That whole Northeast corridor, where we already have clients and Fortune 100 companies, certainly presents an opportunity," said Mark Serriane, CEO of the Cincinnati-based shop. "We've got a very high-performance person in John to help drive that company."
Serriane said he expected the lion's share of the early growth to come from clients from the agency's consultancy unit, Brandstorm. As such, Bess will work closely with the unit's president, Jeff Dufrense. He will also help instill the agency's Influencer Marketing practice deeper into its consumer and professional product offerings.
In addition to creating a New York office, the agency has promoted Kathy Selker to chief operating officer. She was previously chief financial officer for the company.