Two months after joining Foote, Cone & Belding as general manager, Kass Sells is working to bolster the Seattle shop with two senior-level hires and improved client offerings.
Joining FCB last week were creative director Steve Rudasics and group account director Deborah Taylor.
Rudasics, 44, fills a new role at the shop. He reports to executive creative director Mary Knight and will work with a creative and production staff of 12 on all accounts.
"Everyone here seems determined to strengthen the creative," said Rudasics, who freelanced for the past year and a half for such clients as QVC and Cisco. Prior to that, he was vp, associate creative director at Cole & Weber/Red Cell in Seattle.
Taylor, 43, joins from Landor Associates in Seattle, where she was director of brand strategy for such clients as Starbucks, Microsoft and The Seattle Times. Prior to that, she worked with Sells at DDB in Seattle.
In addition to providing strategy for existing clients, Taylor assumes new-business duties from group account director Carole Kitchell, who is on leave. She reports to Sells. "It's a really good time to join," Taylor said. "They are in an investment time and feeling very positive."
FCB is also enhancing client services. "Rather than chase the two or three pitches that are out there, we're making an investment to spend more time and energy with current clients," Sells said. As a result, FCB has added $4-5 million in billings from existing clients such as Hewlett-Packard, Group Health and AAA.
The 35-person shop also plans to hire a creative team to work on HP and do various direct, CRM and business-to-business work, said Sells.
The moves come as the office rebuilds after last year's loss of the $70 million Boeing account to FCB Chicago. "It's been a year of re trenching—figuring out what we do well and how to provide services to existing and new clients," said Sells.