BBL Names Martins CD, Shares Equity

Looking to shore up its senior management ranks after a recent new business winning streak, BBL Advertising has named Fred Martins creative director and conferred minority partner status to a core team of executives.
Martins, who had been freelancing for the Acton, Mass., shop for the past couple of months, will oversee its six-person creative team. Agency president Barbara Sabran had served as creative director and will now concentrate on management issues and developing client strategies.
Martins for eight years helmed the creative department at Harpell/Martins in Maynard, Mass., until he resigned earlier this year [Adweek, Jan. 11].
BBL also has hired executive vice president Christine Shaw to help direct new business efforts and run its media unit. Shaw most recently held the same title at media buying firm Carat Freeman, Newton, Mass.
Martins and Shaw, along with executive vice president Ira Sabran (Barbara’s husband) and public relations director Paul Hughes, form the shop’s senior management team. All four have been given minority ownership stakes in the agency.
Barbara Sabran had been sole owner of the 30-person shop and remains the majority shareholder.
The restructuring reflects a desire to add talent following a two-month growth spurt that has seen BBL add several clients, said Barbara Sabran.
Software provider Chrysalis Symbolic Design and White Electronic Designs, a manufacturer of memory products, have hired the agency for creative development and media placement. BBL has also won public relations duties for SmartLink, a multimedia company; media duties for Alpha Processor, a technical support firm; and various marketing chores for Sonnenalp Resort in Vail, Colo., and retail chain The Paper Store.
The influx of business will boost overall agency billings near $40 million. The shop is looking to hire at least five staffers to help handle the new work, Barbara Sabran said.