Blattner Gets Direct Leadership

Veteran direct executive Peter Michaelson has been put in charge of the discipline at Blatt- ner Brunner as the agency seeks to expand its ability to reach the larger customer base of its consumer brands.

Michaelson, 52, takes over as vice president and director of direct marketing, a new position at the shop.

The Pittsburgh-based agency continues efforts to grow beyond its bus-iness-to-business base, and Michaelson’s hire is another step in that direction, said Michael Brunner, the shop’s president. Approaching the customer base of consumer clients requires much greater sophistication because of the numbers involved, he said.

“As opposed to b-to-b, where you’ll have maybe 2,000 customers, with packaged goods you could have millions,” Brunner said.

Michaelson, 52, most recently worked with Internet companies in St. Louis. He also has been head of IBM’s PC Direct division and worked at ma-jor consumer operations including R.J. Reynolds.

At Blattner Brunner he’ll work with consumer brands and the agency’s b-to-b clients.

Michaelson’s hire continues the shop’s pattern of naming out-of-town talent to head major units. Rodney Underwood came from Bozell, New York, to run the creative department two years ago. Joel Feldstein was hired earlier this year as vp, director of public relations after leaving Kemper Lesnik in Chicago.