Longtime Doe-Anderson Executive Set to Retire

Phil Payne, who started Doe-Anderson’s public relations unit and was a key player in several major account wins, will retire at the end of the year.

Payne, an executive vice president, is credited with helping the Louis ville, Ky., agency land accounts that include Fri g idaire and North American Van Lines.

He also established the shop’s public relations department and has served as president and chairman of the Advertising and Marketing International Network, an association of independent agencies in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Payne, 60, joined the independent agency in 1968 as a copywriter. He became an account executive three years later when the shop acquired the Devoe Paints business.

“It was a different era then; agencies were not as stratified,” Payne said. “I thought if I didn’t like it, I could go back [to copywriting]. But I got intrigued with servicing the clients and dealing with the strategic side of the business.”

Payne’s responsibilities will be spread among the Doe-Anderson management team. He said he will consult with the agency in the future.

“We’re often asked to talk about how we managed our culture when we were growing beyond a local orientation,” he said. According to Payne, small agencies need to get key decision-makers to work as a team.

“It’s hard to do,” he stated. “You have to get rid of egos and remember that clients with accounts over $10 million look for teams that are already assembled.”

One key decision Doe-Anderson made five years ago was to improve the creative department by hiring Jim White, formerly a creative chief at Campbell Mithun and Long Haymes Carr. Payne said Doe-Anderson management made a point of hiring creatives with experience in “large client situations.”

Doe-Anderson claims billings of $140 million, up from $39 million in 1996. In 2000, it won $40 million in business from R.J. Reynolds, losing it a year later.

“We managed to replace that loss with four or five other accounts,” said Payne. “To do that, you must be vigilant in [courting] new business.”