Hawaii’s Top Agency Starr Seigle Lands Cohen

Chuck Cohen—who left the mainland for the Hawaiian Islands nine years ago—just landed at Honolulu’s Big Kahuna of ad agencies: Starr Seigle Communications.

A New York native, Cohen became executive media director/svp in late October, replacing Mike Yamada who left to join P3M Co., an advertising and interactive media company in Los Gatos, Calif.

Cohen will handle media operations for the agency’s Honolulu, Guam and Las Vegas offices, plus helping secure new business.

”We have a really strong print group. But what we didn’t have was strong broadcast or strategic thinking,” said Starr chairman/CEO Jack Bates. “What Chuck brought to the party was a strong strategic mind and excellent management skills.”

Hawaii is unique compared to such mainland markets as Los Angeles and New York. Its 1.3 million population swells to nearly 7 million each year with vacationers.

Tourism, of course, is a major contributor to Starr’s estimated $50 million in billings. As the island’s largest agency, Starr handles Hawaiian Airlines and the Hilton Hawaii, among other general market and new economy clients.

”This agency is looking at growth outside of Hawaii, and it allows me the opportunity to use my mainland experience and my packaged-goods experience,” said Cohen.

Just prior to joining Starr, Cohen served as director of media services at Milici Valenti Ng Pak—Honolulu’s second- largest shop. Cohen also worked at The Schiller Group and Ogilvy & Mather, both in Hawaii.

His mainland training was at such agencies as BBDO Advertising, Ted Bates and Cunningham & Walsh, all New York.

The agency also named Kathleen McDivitt vp of StarrTech Interactive, a separate division.

Founded in 1956 as the A.D. Starr Co., Starr Seigle Communications now includes Starr Seigle McCombs Advertising, QMark Research and Polling, StarrTech Interactive and ProComm Public Relations.