HHCC Lures GSD&M Planner

Holloway Begins to Build a Team to Strengthen Creative
BOSTON–“React. Don’t analyze.” Account planner Justin Holloway tapes that message to the wall as he gauges consumer response to a brand or ads in development. Meeting consumers where they live instead of at focus groups, is one way Holloway gains the information necessary to help creative development.
The executive vice president, who joined Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, in November from Hal Riney & Co., said he hired a partner last week to help him build the planning capability in the next two years.
Joining Holloway as the assistant director of account planning is Frederick “Fritz” Kuhn from GSD&M in Austin, Texas.
Kuhn expects to arrive in Boston next week. Kuhn joined GSD&M last spring from Leo Burnett in Toronto, where he introduced and built the planning capability after working at Burnett’s home office in Chicago. Kuhn and Holloway met three years ago at an annual planners conference in Boston.
At HHCC, Holloway is already having the desired effect. Creative group director Marty Donahue says the addition of planning has “opened up a whole new avenue … that humanizes research.”
One immediate result is a new positioning for Dunkin’ Donuts that stems from research Holloway did before joining the agency. His work is welcomed by the creative team looking for fresh ideas after 18 months on the business. “He pointed us in a new direction,” Donahue said.
In addition to Kuhn, the information-resources department led by senior vice president Betsy Wachtel is being absorbed into the planning department, while primary research, led by Beth Allan, will report into the relationship marketing group headed up by executive vice president Laurel Rossi.
Wachtel, who has been a researcher for almost two decades at the Boston shop, will now be cast in a new role as “trends guru,”said Holloway.