BofA Taps Starbucks Exec

NEW YORK Anne Saunders, most recently svp, global brand strategy at Starbucks, has left to join Bank of America as its brand and advertising executive, a new position, effective June 1, the latter company said.

Saunders will be responsible for the bank’s overall brand management, including its advertising and sponsorships. She will be based at its Charlotte, N.C., headquarters.

BofA CMO Anne Finucane, to whom Saunders will report, said in a statement: “Anne brings extensive and relevant experience to her new role. During her tenure at Starbucks, where the company experienced tremendous expansion of its franchise, Anne helped lead the rapid rise of the brand’s awareness, favorability and social impact—all strategic elements of our brand marketing and advertising focus at Bank of America.”

Omnicom Group agencies mainly handle the estimated $600 million advertising and marketing account for BofA. It won the business following a review in August 2005 in which it competed against agency teams from holding companies Interpublic Group (the incumbent at the time) and WPP Group.

BBDO in New York, the lead ad agency, works with siblings Javelin and OMD, among others.

Saunders has more than a decade of ad agency-side experience having held positions at Bozell & Jacobs, Ted Bates, Young & Rubicam and Earle Palmer Brown. She also worked at McCaw Communications/AT&T Wireless.

She joined Starbucks in August 2001, and agencies she has worked with during her tenure include Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, DraftFCB and Wieden + Kennedy. Starbucks in Seattle said it is seeking Saunders’ successor.

BofA claims 56 million consumer and small business relationships.