Anderman Gets a Top Post at Saatchi L.A.

NEW YORK Rich Anderman, a senior account executive at Merkley, Newman, Harty & Partners and former marketing executive at both Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, is heading west to take a top management post at Saatchi & Saatchi’s Torrance, Calif., office, sources said.

Saatchi is expected to restructure its management in Los Angeles, following the departure of CEO Scott Gilbert, who has become a managing partner at the agency’s New York office. As such, it is unclear what title Anderman will assume. Saatchi declined comment and Anderman, who will start his new job next month, did not return calls.

At Merkley, where he spent about a year, Anderman managed field marketing operations on Mercedes, the New York shop’s largest client. “Rich has a wealth of experience in automotive marketing,” said Alex Gellert, managing director at Merkley. “This is a great opportunity for him and we wish him well.” Merkley plans to fill Anderman’s former post, which he vacated last week.

Saatchi had been searching for an executive with heavy automotive experience, given the office’s reliance on key client Toyota Motor Sales USA. Before Merkley, Anderman was general manager, marketing communications at Mercedes in Montvale, N.J. Earlier in his career, he was national marketing manager at Toyota’s Lexus division. Saatchi sister shop Team One in El Segundo, Calif., handles Lexus’ $225 million account.

Separately, the L.A. office also is said to be looking for a new media director following Jim Helberg’s exit this week. Helberg, who could not immediately be reached, is expected to return to Time Inc. in a senior post. He joined Saatchi in September as director of media operations, after four years at Time, where previously he was vp, corporate sales.