Ankeney Joins Initiative

Interpublic Group’s Initiative has hired Shane Ankeney as executive vp, managing director, U.S., responsible for planning, research and strategy, the media agency has confirmed.

Ankeney joins Initiative from Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day, where he was executive director, audience planning and media arts.

Ankeney will be based in New York and report to Tim Spengler, president of Initiative U.S. He will oversee the shop’s planning, research and strategy divisions. He will be a key player in Initiative’s business development and help set the overall strategic direction of the company.

“Shane is a progressive thinker who has a tremendous track record using media in the most creative, disruptive and intelligent ways possible,” Spengler said. “He will help lead Initiative’s continuing transformation to a strategic marketing company that is focused on driving our client’s business results.”

For most of his career, Ankeney, 40, has led media disciplines at full-service shops. Before TBWA\C\D, he was at Doner in Southfield, Mich., where he was chief media officer and led strategy for business development. Prior to that, he was at Carmichael Lynch, where he was media director for the Minneapolis agency, including the Harley-Davidson and Gibson Guitars accounts. Ankeney also worked at JWT and The Leap Partnership in Chicago. 

Commenting on his decision to assume a new role at a new shop, Ankeney said, “I have a passion for TBWA and I love the brand, the people, and it was a difficult decision on one level.” But at the end of the day, he added, “what it came down to is I feel that an agency like Initiative is better poised to develop the agency model of the future. . . . When you talk about the importance of data and data-driven insight and data-driven accountability for making a business impact for clients, it feels a lot stronger and more credible from an agency like Initiative.”