Harris Expands GM Role, Opens New York Office



By Tanya Gazdik





DETROIT–Harris Marketing Group is adding to its staff and opening more offices to service its General Motors account as well as to try to attract new business.





The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based shop recently was named the agency of record for marketing to women by General Motors. Harris’ relationship with the automaker dates back to 1992, when it was assigned to manage GM’s sponsorship of the 7th on Sixth fashion shows in New York.





The agency’s expanding relationship with the fashion industry resulted in the need for a New York office; a new branch was recently opened there, said Janice Shukle, Harris’ president and founder.





The shop also opened an office in Los Angeles, where it hopes to attract new business. In addition, the West Coast will be the location for several major events for GM in the coming months, she added.





Harris has been conducting focus groups and other research for main client GM. Its Concept:Cure project to raise money for breast cancer research will expand this year and include a sweepstakes whereby people who pledge money will be entered into a raffle for one of this year’s special designer GM vehicles.





Additional GM business as well as new clients has resulted in several recent hires in the headquarters office in Ann Arbor. Harris recently was retained by the Detroit Tigers baseball organization to try to bring more women and families to the ballpark. The agency also has completed a promotional project for Coca-Cola Co.





Gretchen Snow Ruff has joined the agency as executive vice president and head of account services. Ruff previously served as senior vice president and director of events marketing at D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in Troy, Mich.





Terry Belitsos, formerly senior vice president and senior writer at Campbell-Ewald Advertising in Warren, Mich., is the agency’s new executive vice president and creative director.





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