Blamer Assumes a Larger Role at Grey

NEW YORK Steve Blamer, who arrived at Grey in New York as president in 2000, has been promoted to president and chief executive of Grey Worldwide North America, effective immediately, Grey has confirmed.

The move comes just two months after holding company Grey Global Group fought to keep Blamer, 47, from accepting an offer to join Interpublic Group’s Foote Cone & Belding. The promotion was part of Grey’s counteroffer to Blamer, sources said [Adweek, Sept. 8].

In his new role, he continues to report to Grey Global Group’s chairman, president, CEO Ed Meyer.

“I charged Steve with energizing and leading new growth in our flagship [office in New York] … as well as building our Atlanta office,” Meyer said in a statement. “I’m proud to say that during one of the worst recession periods in the agency business, our revenues, profits and most significantly, the quality of creative work are all up.”

Of his new role, Blamer said, “What it probably means more than anything is that you’ll have a lot more seamless integration among the offices to service clients’ businesses. The network will now perform as a total network.”

Blamer has stated his desire to hire a creative partner and said that goal hasn’t changed, but he declined to comment on what sources said are plans to add a planner and a head of new business by the end of the first quarter.

The promotion gives Blamer authority over all Grey offices in the U.S. and Canada; specifically, he adds oversight for Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. All told, Grey’s estimated North American billings exceed $3 billion.

Blamer joined New York from Grey’s London operations, where he ran that office for two years. Before that, he worked at Grey in Los Angeles.