Lime’s Strauss Is New Grey Alliance CEO

Was founder at KBS+P promotions, PR unit

Claudia Strauss, president of Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners’ Lime promotions and PR unit, has become the CEO of Alliance, Grey Group’s lifestyle and entertainment marketing agency.

Strauss was a founder of Lime, which was spun off from what was then Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners in 2001, and she’s served as a managing partner at the MDC ad agency since 1999. As Alliance’s new CEO, she succeeds John Eckel, also the unit’s president, who left the WPP agency. Alliance’s vp, client development, Amy Tunick, was named president in April 2010 and continues in those duties.

Alliance was opened for Grey clients like Procter & Gamble and its involvement in the production of the People’s Choice Awards 15 years ago. The unit works for clients like Canon, the NFL, Western Union, 3M, Calgon, Daffy’s, GlaxoSmithKline, and Bosch/Purolator.

"Alliance is a little, hidden gem. I want to polish it up, grow it, and bring it to clients and the world," Strauss said.

In addition to making Alliance more of a global company, Strauss said she wants to expand its operations to include more branded content, social media, and grassroots, guerrilla and experiential marketing.

During her tenure at Lime, the agency created a U.S. pop-up store for Delta Airlines; an affinity card for HBO; a consumer-generated coupon for Lucky Brand Jeans; a branded boat for Target; and a Meow Mix TV show for cat fans on the Oxygen Network.

A KBS+P representative said no management changes are being made at the unit after Strauss’s resignation. Lime was rebranded KBS+P Experiential earlier this year and reports in to KBS+P’s management, according to the rep.

Strauss is one of the first major hires by Tor Myhren, who joined Grey New York as CCO in 2007, and added responsibilities as president of the flagship office last December.

"There’s so much crossover between advertising, film, music, fashion. She's always been at the forefront of collaboration between all these industries," said Myhren. "She’ll bring innovative thinking across all channels and help manage the brand platforms we’ve been building."

Strauss is the second top executive affiliated with KBS+P to join Grey N.Y. amid the sweeping changes made by Grey Group CEO Jim Heekin in recent years. In 2007, Michael Houston, who had been KB+P’s director of corporate development, was named evp, director of marketing, a new position at the WPP agency.