Barbara Gans Russo, head of production at Publicis in New York for 22 years, joined The Albert Co. last week as its first president of New York operations.
Based in Carmel, Calif., The Albert Co. negotiates with talent agents and music publishers on behalf of ad agencies to arrange cele b rity appearances or secure song rights for campaigns. Deals the company has brokered include getting actor Brad Pitt for Evance-Rolex in Japan and the song "Born to Be Wild" for Ford Trucks.
In the newly created post, Russo will introduce The Albert Co. to agencies in New York and steer talent negotiations. "I want to create more alliances with agencies and make the [negotiation] process more efficient, effective and economical for them," said Russo, who worked with The Albert Co. when she was with Publicis.
During the company's 26-year history, CEO and founder Jon Albert has split his time between California and New York. "Frankly, New York deserves full-time attention," said Albert, to whom Russo will report. "Barbara's natural instinct for talent negotiations and contracting, coupled with her knowledge of the agency business, makes her a great representative for our company."
As Publicis' executive principal, executive director of broadcast production and creative administration, Russo ran the department that produced the shop's commercial work. She also oversaw all creative-service areas, including business affairs, print production, art studios, traffic and budgeting.
Russo left that post late last year. Diane Flynn joined Publicis in April to assume Russo's broadcast-production responsibilities, while co-presidents and ecds David Corr and Lance Paull absorbed her creative duties.