Merkley Brings Caplan on Board

Merkley Newman Harty & Partners has added Mitch Caplan, an online-marketing consultant and former president of Martin Interactive in New York, as its fifth group account director, a new post.

He will handle day-to-day management of BMW Motorcycles, one of the shop’s most integrated accounts. (Longtime BMW Motorcycles account handler Steve Bowen will continue to consult on the business and attend key meetings.) Merkley handles traditional advertising, direct marketing, interactive, promotional and media planning duties for the client. Caplan, 42, started at the agency last week and reports to managing director Alex Gellert.

Caplan, who has interactive and traditional agency experience, will contribute to new-business efforts.

“We saw Mitch as kind of a kindred spirit in terms of his philosophy of what an agency should be,” said Gellert, who met Caplan through New York headhunter Liz Glatzer & Associates. “We’re building a team of like-minded people, and he’s another addition to that.”

Other key hires from recent years Gellert named include director of new business development Sue Serenska, chief marketing officer Lou Killefer and executive media director Max Benington.

“I’m very excited about bringing the experience that I’ve had … back to a traditional agency that wants to excel from an integrated perspective,” said Caplan, who added that the shop’s work for Mercedes and Pfizer’s Lipitor were also draws.

Before Martin Interactive, Caplan was managing director of the New York and Boston offices of online-marketing shop Think New Ideas. Earlier in his career, Caplan held new-business and account management posts at agencies such as Ammirati Puris Lintas and Bates.