Ground Zero Restructures

Gledhill Named President; New York Office Possible
LOS ANGELES–Having just celebrated its fifth year of operation, Ground Zero is gearing up for the millennium with a reorganization of its top management, and plans to open a New York office.
The agency, which last month moved a few miles south from Santa Monica, Calif., to a 25,000-square-foot converted warehouse in Marina del Rey, has elevated Andrew Gledhill from head of strategic planning to president.
The 40-year-old Briton takes over client service management duties from general manager and founding partner Jim Smith, who will focus on long-term strategy and pursuing national accounts in the $75-150 million range. Targeted will be clients who share the agency’s brand-driven focus.The shift will “hopefully take some of the weight off Jim so he can think the big thoughts,” said Gledhill, whose efforts have played a key role in attracting new business.
In three years, Ground Zero’s billings have grown from $35 million to approximately $65 million, with national clients including ESPN2, Virgin Cola and Activision. Its staff numbers 45 and is growing.
“If you look at our list of clients, all but one [Beverly Hills, Calif.-based City National Bank] are national,” said Smith. “We’ve never regarded ourselves as a ‘California’ agency.”
With many of Ground Zero’s clients on the East Coast, Smith said it makes sense to open an office in New York, but declined to give a definite time frame.
Meanwhile, the agency’s campaign for Atlantis Resort & Casino in the Bahamas, which had been running in targeted markets, hits national cable TV this month.