Hill, Holliday Recommits to Service

Staff Move Underscores Hub Shop’s Continued Dedication to Causes
BOSTON–Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos is upping its commitment to community service.
New England’s second largest ad agency, sold last year to the Interpublic Group of Cos. in New York, has been dogged by at least one question: What effect will out-of-town ownership have on one of Boston’s most philanthropic companies?
The answer, according to Hill, Holliday co-founder and chief executive officer Jack Connors, is none.
In fact, the agency’s community service department has been expanded with the assignment of account veteran Rita Harris to the new position of community service director. Harris will report to executive vice president Margaret Boles Fitzgerald, who has overseen the department since its inception in 1984.
The addition of Harris is intended to show the extent of Connors’ commitment to local causes. “He is determined that while he is still at the helm, he will do more.” Harris will continue to serve as management supervisor on the Marshalls account.
Hill, Holliday’s level of involvement in local issues is near legendary. Connors first performed community service to help build the agency’s creative portfolio while gaining access to business leaders who served as board members.
His philanthropic interests have leaned heavily toward Catholic, Irish and Democratic causes, but the list also includes schools, day care centers, the arts and gardening. Hill, Holliday has also contributed to enough health-related initiates to prompt Connors to jest that there is no part of the body for which the agency has not raised money.
The tally for the agency’s pro bono efforts is about $3-4 million a year. The agency is always on the lookout for a good cause coupled with a creative opportunity.
Hill, Holliday Interactive just finished development of a new Web site for The Freedom Trail Foundation. The shop also has recently created ads for a mentoring program developed at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Both Fitzgerald and Harris say any effort to apply a “strategic” direction to what is given out is futile. Nonprofit organizations looking for time, money or services better get in line early or arrange for a personal sanction from Connors.