Translation Vet to Run Social Engagement at Doner

By Patrick Coffee 

MDC Partners’ Doner has signed Translation vet Marcus Collins as its first executive director of social engagement. He started last week in the agency’s Detroit office.

As the press release puts it, this newly-created role will help clients from London to Los Angeles (and all offices in between) run their social accounts while also working to “establish the agency’s social philosophy by combining culturally curious thinking with academic insights into the cognitive drivers that excite consumer behavior.”

Collins brings both the marketing and the academic parts of that equation to the new position. He most recently held the same title at Steve Stoute’s Translation in New York for almost four years before leaving in May. During his tenure he developed and launched social campaigns/activations for some of the agency’s biggest clients including Bud Light (now with W+K), State Farm, the Brooklyn Nets and Jay-Z’s Made in America festival. He’s also taught courses in marketing and social media strategy at

Collins past work involved both Shawn Carter and his slightly more famous wife: while at Music World Entertainment, he was “responsible for all digital and social endeavors” involving that agency’s biggest client, one Beyonce Knowles. He also spent a year with Apple’s marketing team, leading iTunes sport music initiatives and college marketing efforts in collaboration with Nike.

We received tips about Collins’ departure from Translation last month, but it’s not clear at the moment whether he left of his own accord and/or whether the agency plans to replace him in New York.

His arrival isn’t the only staffing change to affect Doner Detroit in recent months. Back in January, EVP, ECD and Chief Innovation Officer Justin Smith left the shop, later emerging in an executive position at Detroit-area “digital experience innovation company” In May, the office also said goodbye to ECD Chad Ackley before hiring Leo Burnett veteran Steve Silver (who had helped run the Chevy Silverado account) to replace Smith in managing the Fiat Chrysler business “as well as other unnamed clients.”