Gill Duff Is New Head of BBDO Atlanta

Latest shift under Americas head Ruhanen

Troy Ruhanen, chief of BBDO Americas, has tapped Gill Duff to be president, CEO, of the agency’s Atlanta office.

Duff, who steps into the role on May 21, succeeds Chris Hall who left in January and is now consulting in the Atlanta area.

It’s a kind of a homecoming for the Southerner, who ran BBDO’s FedEx business in 2003-2004. He left BBDO in July 2004 to become CEO of Publicis N.Y. and in 2009 joined BBDO’s sister Omnicom agency DDB Worldwide. At DDB in Chicago, he was a global business director with oversight of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Budweiser brand, which parted ways with the agency last fall after DDB was eliminated from the review for Bud Light, the agency’s remaining assignment.

BBDO Atlanta, with about 275 people, is about the same size as the agency’s Chicago office. Among the clients handled by the Atlanta office are AT&T, Bayer, Embassy Suites, Florida Department of Citrus, Georgia Lottery, ING and REI. The office is also the North American headquarters for BBDO’s shopper marketing, analytics and retail production operations.

“It’s a good time for us to recruit the best talent to this market because our reputation is at a high and our position and values are well-established,” said Ruhanen, who adds that Duff’s past association with BBDO and continuing one with Omnicom through DDB played a significant role in his selection.

Since becoming BBDO’s chairman, CEO, the Americas 15 months ago, Ruhanen has set up the new ShopWork unit in Atlanta and hired Laura Davis-Taylor as its head. He also promoted Andrew Bailey to chairman, Proximity, North America—BBDO’s direct, digital and CRM network; named Neil White president of BBDO Minneapolis and promoted Jim Lesser to chairman of the agency’s San Francisco office. During that time Ruhanen has also expanded the agency's offerings to include social media, analytics and shopper marketing.


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