Fallon’s McHugh to Head Planning at Y&R

NEW YORK Maria McHugh, planning director at Publicis Groupe’s Fallon here, is heading to WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam to run its New York planning department, Y&R confirmed.

McHugh, who will start at the end of November, will assume the title of executive director of brand planning. She will report to both New York managing director Mary Maroun and John Gerzema, chief insights officer for North America.

“Maria has a wealth of experience in developing big ideas for clients, and in our transformation at Y&R, I know she will make us stronger,” Maroun said, in a staff e-mail announcing the hire.

Previously, the 25-member department was steered by director of brand planning Belle Frank. Frank is expected to remain at Y&R, splitting her time between existing clients and new business development, Maroun said.

At Fallon, McHugh worked on brands such as Virgin Mobile and Georgia-Pacific, for which she helped modernize the “Brawny Man.” Her duties will be absorbed by other planners while the agency searches for a head of brand planning, said Fallon New York president Anne Bologna. Fallon plans to look outside the agency to fill the post, Bologna said.

Separately, Michael Sussman, senior vice president, group planning director, is taking on an expanded role as director of analytic insights and strategy. Sussman is charged with further integrating research tools into the planning process, according to Y&R.