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KB+P Keeps Open Mind on Planning

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NEW YORK Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners has strengthened its commitment to brand planning, absorbing Open Mind Strategy, a specialty shop led by Madison Avenue veteran Robin Hafitz.

Hafitz, 45, becomes head of brand strategy. She brings along four planners, who join the 16 already working at KB+P. Hafitz will lead all 20 staffers, in turn reporting to Aaron Reitkopf, agency group president. (Open Mind will maintain its identity inside the larger department, with Hafitz also serving as president of that unit.)

"I have done things that use planning elements but are not advertising related," said Hafitz. "I've got really good research chops. Whether you're looking at advertising, direct mail or strategic elements, clients are looking for you to back it up" with quantifiable results.

"The buzz has been about how the creatives need to change. Planners need to change," said agency co-chairman Jonathan Bond. "It needs to change to remain relevant. They've got to deliver more value, they've got to be more quantitative and they've got to know CRM."

Two-year-old Open Mind works for clients such as NBC Universal's USA, SciFi, and MSNBC networks, the New York Sun, Silver Legacy Resort and Casino, Univision and Sirius Satellite Radio.

Prior to Open Mind, Hafitz was co-chair at New York agency Mad Dogs & Englishmen for 14 years. She began her career at DeJoseph Advertising, before moving on to Lord Geller Federico Einstein, Lord Einstein O'Neill and Chiat/Day/Mojo.