Claudine Cheever Crosses Over to a Media Shop

Creative shop vet takes new role at MediaVest

Yet another creative agency leader has crossed over to a media shop.

Claudine Cheever, who has spent her entire ad career at creative players like Ogilvy & Mather, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, McCann Erickson and most recently, Saatchi & Saatchi, has joined MediaVest as managing director of strategy and design for North America.

The position is new and focused on communications planning and content development, according to Richard Hartell, president of human experience strategy for North America.

"The role is needed because we're committed to having people here [who are] really in touch with what consumers are doing today," Hartell said. "We have a big strategy team who are very much about understanding consumers, understanding how they are interact with the media marketplace and how they interact with technology and brands."

Cheever brings that understanding "plus a real strong understanding of brands and how brands need to behave in this new world," Hartell added.

What's more, Hartell knew Cheever from her work on Walmart—a client that Saatchi and MediaVest share. (Saatchi and MediaVest are both units of Publicis Groupe.)

At MediaVest, Cheever follows in the footsteps of other creative agency migrants, including U.S. chief operating officer Tim Castree, who previously worked at Leo Burnett, George Patterson Partners and Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Castree joined MediaVest in 2008 but today the agency confirmed that he's leaving this week. His future plans were not immediately clear.

The trend of creative agency leaders joining media shops is by no means new. But the continued migration comes as media players seek to redefine themselves as creators of branded content that also plan and buy media. A big factor fueling that pivot is the broader industry move toward automated media buying.

Cheever spent five years at Saatchi. She joined as director of strategy for the New York office and subsequently rose to head of strategy for the Americas, working on brands like Walmart, Kool-Aid, Chase Sapphire, Pampers and Cheerios. Saatchi named global planning director Wanda Pogue to succeed her two weeks ago.