Ex-Sears Exec to BBDO

Thacker to ‘Continue Momentum’ in Minn.
CHICAGO–Sears, Roebuck & Co. marketing executive Bob Thacker is returning to his advertising roots to become chief executive of BBDO in Minneapolis.
Thacker, who takes control of the agency on Oct. 1, succeeds Jon Firestone, who said he would retire for health reasons [Adweek, July 26].
Thacker’s charge is to diversify the agency’s client base and work with the office’s executive creative director, Denny Haley, to broaden the shop’s “creative palette,” said BBDO North America president Tom Carey.
Thacker said he wants to continue Firestone’s course for the agency. “I’m not coming in to fix something that’s broken,” he said. “I want to continue the momentum that Jon started.”
During Firestone’s 12-year tenure billings went up, especially after the win of Hormel’s consolidated $45 million account. However, the agency last year lost its portion of AirTouch in a consolidation. This year, the $100 million office’s new business record has been relatively flat.
Prior to joining Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears in late 1998, Thacker spent 10 years managing advertising for Target Stores.
The work produced for the Minneapolis retailer and his prior stints in the creative departments at nearby ad agencies Campbell Mithun Esty and Chuck Ruhr Advertising made Thacker “irresistible,” Carey said. “He has the touch and appreciation for getting great creative work.”
Firestone had contacted Thacker, who at Sears was senior vice president of marketing services, in August.