Barkley Exec Joins Grey as Context Chief

NEW YORK Jim Elms has joined Grey’s flagship office here as evp, director of context planning, a new position at the WPP unit.

His mandate: Oversee a new capability that broadens communications planning to include every touch point and channel through which consumers receive information and entertainment. To that end, he will work closely with the shop’s creative, strategic planning, content development and account management teams.

“We’ve created this new role, and recruited Jim for it, because of his long track record as an innovator in brand dialogue,” said Steve Hardwick, Grey president, in a statement. “He will take Grey’s historic strength in consumer insight and understanding to a new level by focusing on the humanity of our brands’ target audiences in order to connect with them in more personal ways to drive growth.”

Added Elms, “We are going to break new ground in defining and developing relationships between people and brands.”

Elms joins from independent shop Barkley in Kansas City, where he served as director of insight and delivery. He has also held posts at Wieden + Kennedy; Goodby, Silverstein & Partners; TBWA\Chiat\Day; FCB; and Y&R.

Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, BAT, Diageo, Darden Restaurants and Wyeth rank among the key clients of Grey’s New York office.