Ingalls Recruits Browning

West Coast Account Exec to Head Up Client Services
BOSTON–The account manager who helped oversee Saturn’s domestic advertising programs and worked to promote Nike in Europe is coming to Ingalls Advertising.
Randy Browning, 34, will join the Boston agency in three weeks as senior vice president and director of account management, a new position at Ingalls, which claims about $140 million in billings.
Browning has spent the past six months at Foote, Cone & Belding in San Francisco as vice president and account director, overseeing the advertising business of The Associates First Capital Corp., a $55 billion financial services firm in Dallas.
Prior to working at FCB, Browning for more than a year was a key player on the Saturn account team at Hal Riney & Partners in San Francisco.
He also spent four years at Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, Ore., as part of the group that set up the agency’s Amsterdam office. While at Wieden, he helped launch Nike’s soccer communications program and oversaw the client’s basketball and running efforts overseas.
“His entire experience is with major league brands,” said Ingalls chairman Bink Garrison. “He should play a big part in taking us to the next level” by making the agency more competitive in pitches for national accounts and fine-tuning marketing strategy for existing clients. Ingalls’ top clients include Radisson Hotels, Raytheon, T.J. Maxx and Citizens Financial Group.
Browning has signed noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements with FCB and brings no business or staff to Ingalls.
Browning was tapped after an eight-month search. The goal was to find an executive with big-brand experience capable of selling “great creative” to clients, Garrison said. “Frankly, we didn’t see . . . what we wanted in [the New England] market.”
Asked why he chose to join a midsized Boston shop, given his background working for some of the world’s best-known agencies and brands, Browning said, “It’s an opportunity to come on board and do what I want to do.” He envisions Ingalls becoming part of “the next generation of destination agencies,” creatively driven shops that clients across the country will seek to build their brands.
Browning grew up in various cities around the world, moving from place to place with his father, who was a sales executive for Goodyear Tire. He graduated from the exclusive Groton School in Groton, Mass., and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He has family in Beverly Farms, Mass.
Riney senior art director Kevin Kehoe, who worked with Browning on the Saturn business, praised his former colleague for helping sell the automaker “the most expensive” commercial in its history. The ad, with a $1.3 million production budget, depicted the first exported Saturns arriving in Japan. “That was a very ambitious ad to sell, logistically tough . . . Randy would not compromise the creative,” Kehoe said.
Sources close to Browning praised his marketing savvy and work ethic but cautioned that the young executive can be a demanding taskmaster and perfectionist who wore out his welcome with some higher ups at his previous agencies. Jack Boland, president of FCB in San Francisco, did not return calls by press time.
Ingalls was in a similar position in the early 1990s, when Garrison tapped 30-something executive Vin Cipolla as president. By the time Cipolla left the agency 20 months later, several executives, including the vice chairman, creative director, media director and public relations chief, had resigned or been dismissed.
Ingalls management does not believe Browning will cause such tumult because he will not be in charge of all the agency’s divisions, as Cipolla was, said general manager Tom Block, to whom Browning will report.
Browning will not be assigned to any specific accounts. He will serve as a strategic resource for all existing and prospective clients, interfacing with the creative and account planning departments on a regular basis, Garrison said.
Though Ingalls has enjoyed double-digit revenue growth the past several years and added some regional clients, the shop has won few national accounts and last year suffered defections by CVS and The Boston Globe.