Bess Becomes Tatham’s Regional Director

CHICAGO Former Young & Rubicam executive Ron Bess has joined Havas’ Euro RSCG as regional director of North America, a new post.

Bess, 57, takes over many of the duties formerly held by Euro RSCG Tatham Partners CEO Gary Epstein, who announced his resignation in April. Bess’ move to Euro RSCG had been expected (Adweek Online, April 7.)

Bess will be charged with rebuilding Euro RSCG’s advertising practice in Chicago, where he will be based. He will also oversee Euro RSCG’s Canadian operations and several below-the line units.

Tatham in Chicago has been beset by advertising client defections in the past six months, including Red Lobster ($100 million), Alberto-Culver ($45 million) and Sara Lee’s Hillshire Farms ($20 million).

The future of the shop’s $60 million broadcast creative account for Walgreen’s is also unclear. Sources said the client has talked to other agencies; another source said the account could be taken in-house. Craig Sinclair, the Northbrook, Ill.-based retailer’s director of advertising, did not return phone calls. Publicis Groupe’s Starcom handles Walgreen’s media.

Euro RSCG’s operations in Chicago are now known as Euro RSCG Chicago, while the former Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners is now known as Euro RSCG in New York. Marketing services units Brann and Impact are now part of a division called Euro 4D.

Bess left WPP Group’s Y&R New York last fall as vice chairman for integration and business development. He previously was chairman and CEO of Y&R New York.

Bess spent most of his career in Chicago. He was a partner at onetime Quaker Oats agency Bayer Bess Vanderwarker, which later was folded into Foote Cone & Belding.

This item updates a previously posted story