Sann, a 23-year BBDO veteran who is behind 10 years of Pepsi-Cola advertising, was formerly vice chairman/executive cd running one of the agency's two creative teams. He assumes ultimate creative responsibility over BBDO's entire client roster, which includes such venerable marketers as Pepsi, Gillette and Frito-Lay. As part of the reorganization, sources said Michael Patti and Al Merrin, both executive vps/senior cds will emerge with day-to-day creative control on Sann's former accounts.
"I thought it was time we made the succession clear in terms of where we're heading" said chairman and ceo Phil Dusenberry. "It's something I've been thinking about for awhile. You have to recognize people and Ted certainly deserves this kind of recognition. That, coupled with wanting to keep the train on the tracks five or ten years from now, (makes) you want to have the people in place."
Sann moves up to the No. 2 spot under Dusenberry and alongside Tom Carey, who as president and coo runs the business side.
Although both Dusenberry and Sann stressed that Sann's promotion specifically defines "the next generation of creative leadership," agency insiders said the move clearly puts Sann in line to eventually succeed Dusenberry, who at 56, said he has "no plans to leave yet."
Possibly as part of a soon-to-be-announced reorganization, Charlie Miesmer, who held the same title as Sann as vice chairman/executive cd, becomes senior executive cd. He will retain day-to-day control over his accounts, which include Frito-Lay, Pizza Hut and Federal Express.
But with Sam now overseeing the agency's entire creative output, day-to-day responsibilities for his former accounts like Pepsi, Gillette, GE and DuPont will fall on someone else's shoulders, although Sann is expected to stay closest to the Pepsi account, BBDO's crown jewel.
Both Dusenberry and Sann acknowledged an imminent reorganization but declined to be specific.
However, sources said Friday that the structure of BBDO's powerhouse creative department, long configured into the two groups individually run by Sam and Miesmer, might be divided into three groups.
Whatever the new structure, sources said Friday that Patti and Merrin would be promoted to run Sann's former accounts, possibly with each heading up his own creative team as executive cds.
Dusenberry emphasized that Miesmer, whose BBDO career has paralleled Sann's, was involved in the decision and is in no way discontented.
"Charlie is going to continue doing what he does best, hands-on responsibilities for his account and his group. He's not leaving. He would be the first to tell you he doesn't want to run this department. Ted is cut out for it," said Dusenberry.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)