BBDS Hires FCB Vet to Hike New-Business Effort

In an effort to attract prospective clients and to bring greater visibility to its name, BBDS has hired Foote, Cone & Belding’s No. 2 new-business executive.

Steve Congdon, 35, takes the newly created position of vice president, business development. Congdon reports directly to Dick Sanderson, the Chicago shop’s pres ident and CEO.

Sanderson said the agency “will expand [its] investment in staff, materials and promotion to provide Steve with the resources he needs.”

Congdon said he plans to look at how BBDS has fallen short in business competitions to learn what he needs to do. “I will ask why we lost an account to immediately understand how potential clients feel and view the agency,” Congdon said.

The rough economy and lack of new business contributed to Sanderson’s decision to refocus on agency promotion, he said. “We urge our clients to build their brands,” Sanderson said. “Now is the time to build ours.”

Congdon was FCB’s business development director in Chicago for two years, reporting to Erin Clark, the agency’s executive vice president of business development. Before that, Congdon was a senior account executive at FCB on the Coors Brewing account.

“He had an impressive résumé and an entrepreneurial spirit that is important for this position,” San derson said.

BBDS enjoyed some new-business success prior to Congdon’s arrival. The shop’s Milwaukee office was awarded advertising duties for Bombardier Recreational Products’ new line of Fish Hawk and Sea-Doo sports boats.

The Grant, Fla., company selected the Chicago shop’s Milwaukee office to create a full range of advertising, public relations and supplemental services to introduce the new line of marine products. Bombardier spent $15 million in advertising during the first six months of this year, according to CMR.

BBDS’ client roster also includes Underwriters Laboratories, Midwest Express Airlines and Schlage Lock.