Braasch Departs GSD&M Post

Steve Braasch, a 12-year GSD&M veteran who progressed to senior vice president and group account director on Pennzoil and Sea World, has left the agency to help launch high-tech startup Point One Telecommunications.
Braasch, one of four partners at Point One, will head marketing efforts for the new company in Austin, Texas. Point One is developing a hardware and software package that marries phone, fax, Internet and data operations. The firm initially will market its product to wholesale customers.
Braasch said his departure was amicable. “This was just a tremendous opportunity for me to do something new . . . in a totally different world,” he said, adding, “You don’t spend 12 years at an agency like GSD&M and not have an emotional farewell.”
“Steve has been an incredible asset here,” said GSD&M president Roy Spence. “But he’s an entrepreneur and when I see someone like that, I say congratulations.”
Spence said there are no immediate plans to fill Braasch’s group account directorship. Keith Guyett, vice president and account director, has assumed Braasch’s duties on Pennzoil; account supervisor Doug Cole is handling the shop’s business for Sea World in San Antonio and San Diego.
Braasch’s departure comes as the Austin agency awaits word on possible new assignments from Pennzoil Products Co. of Houston. GSD&M could be in line for additional branding work for Quaker State, once Pennzoil’s merger with Quaker State Corp. is completed. That deal is expected to close next month.
Quaker State does not currently have an agency of record. Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago resigned its creative duties for the company’s motor oil business in September 1997. A subsequent review failed to net an agency of record selection. Leagas Delaney, San Francisco, appeared to be in line for the business, but the search was suspended after Pennzoil announced its plans to merge with Quaker State five months ago.