JWT Installs New Leadership at Ford Media Unit

J. Walter Thompson here has named new leaders for Ford Motor Media, the unit it created four years ago to handle national buying for all of Ford’s divisions.

Andy Prakken assumes the title of executive communications director and will oversee FMM’s stra tegic and operational direction. He succeeds Bob Mancini, who retired from the position of executive director over the summer. Prakken will also continue to run the communications planning operation for Ford at JWT.

Kevin Brown has been promoted to managing director of FMM, a new position, and will be responsible for day-to-day buying operations.

Changes to the unit will ensure more collaboration between the media planning done at Ford’s brand agencies and buying, according to a memo from Michael O’Malley, JWT Detroit president and head of the global Ford account.

“The new structure will allow us to more fully leverage the assets of multimedia conglomerates and better implement cross-platform media solutions,” O’Malley said in a memo to staff. Ford had pursued an “idea-centric approach” to planning aimed at maximizing exposure of the individual brands, he said. But the consolidation of media ownership and the fragmentation of media requires a different approach.

“Our primary goal is to provide all Ford brands with a competitive advantage in capitalizing on new opportunities in today’s media environment,” O’Malley said in the memo.

Other goals include more effectively sharing best practices and processes and responding more quickly to develop “opportunistic” media plans. JWT will roll out restructuring moves over the next several months, the memo said.