Ogilvy & Mather's Brand Integration Group has added a general manager, its first. Bob Kahn's arrival represents an effort to win business beyond the Ogilvy roster and tap into his success as a design creative.
Kahn, a founding partner of Interpublic Group design unit FutureBrand and one of the developers of Landor Associates' brand-awareness measurement tool—the Brand Asset Valuator Study—joined the WPP Group agency's brand-design arm last week.
Kahn, 51, was most recently chief marketing officer at brand consultancy Enterprise IG. His mission is twofold, said his new boss, BIG ecd Brian Collins: elevate the quality of the work and capture new business at the New York shop.
"I was searching for a leader who ... could hit the ground with business strategy, but also someone who had an appreciation of the creative work and could sit down with the team and talk credibly about design ideas," Collins said of his hire, the result of a six-month search. "Bob Kahn is known industrywide as a pioneer in the branding field, but he's also someone with intensive managerial expertise that will take us to the next level."
During the past year, BIG has tripled in size and now has 35 design, architecture and branding specialists on staff. It has added assignments from Hershey, Sprite, Miller Brewing and several other Ogilvy clients to a roster that includes Kodak and Motorola. BIG's latest work, unveiled earlier this month, is a neon Coke sign in Times Square. The agency is also working on rebranding Times Square's business district.
"BIG has earned a reputation in the design and branding community for breakthrough creative ideas," Kahn said, adding, "I know we can achieve even greater depth."