Ex-Coke Exec Joins Amster Yard

Amster Yard has hired Simon Pearce as its new managing director, effective last week, the agency said.

Pearce, a former director of national brand advertising at Coca-Cola North America, replaces Joe Belmonte at the Interpublic Group agency. Belmonte left the shop in August.

Pearce will team with agency founder and creative director Jeff Weiss. Both men report to IPG Sports and Entertainment Group chairman and CEO Mark Dowley.

A Briton, Pearce, 37, has extensive agency experience. Before joining Amster Yard, he was director of account management at Wieden + Kennedy in New York from January to July. He has also held posts at Young & Rubicam in London, and at D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in Warsaw, Poland, and St. Louis. At Coke, Pearce worked on the company’s Harry Potter sponsorship and other marketing efforts.

“Amster Yard has evolved from a purely creative, strategic agency to having a complete account service staff and planning department,” Weiss said. “We realized we need someone to now help the agency grow in its new direction.”

That new direction includes expanding integrated marketing business. Weiss said the shop’s work for clients such as Bacardi, Interbrew, Coke, WUSA, Paramount Pictures and the Recording Industry Association of America, “evolves globally in various media from events, on-premise advertising and public relations.” (Amster Yard launched in 1994 as a unit of IPG’s McCann-Erickson, but began reporting to Dowley two months ago.)

Weiss cited Pearce’s Coke experience as particularly relevant.

“He knows how to get great creative from both the client and agency side,” Weiss said. “He’s worked in Europe and Asia, and he’s very comfortable in the world of entertainment and cross-discipline brand marketing.”

Pearce was traveling last week and was unavailable for comment.

Amster Yard has 50 staffers, with offices in New York and Barcelona, Spain. It claims projected 2002 revenue of $12 million.