Moynihan Rises at Arnold MPG

Steve Moynihan has been named managing director of Arnold MPG. He succeeds John Gaffney, who was elevated to chief operating officer of parent Media Planning Group USA, a unit of Havas.

Moynihan, 35, takes the reins of the 150-person media planning and buying operation that works for most domestic Arnold clients. He will report to Gaffney.

Moynihan has been with the Boston-based company for two years, most recently as svp, group media director on Arnold’s largest account, the $350 million Volkswagen of America business. He will continue to run VW with vp, associate media director Jennifer Bartner-Indeck.

“Steve has an excellent sense of what marketing approaches clients need and how to support them with media,” Gaffney said.

Gaffney recruited Moynihan from the media department of Austin, Texas-based GSD&M, where he ran MasterCard. Prior to that, Moynihan spent nearly a decade in Dallas, working at various agencies on American Airlines, Nissan, Quaker Oats and Subaru.

Gaffney praised Moynihan for making media an intrinsic part of campaign development and for applying creative thinking to help VW refine its media buys.

In 2001, for example, Moynihan guided VW into magazines not normally associated with car adver tising, such as Blender and Dwell, in an effort to help the German auto maker reach a new group of upscale young consumers.

Moynihan and his staff decided to take a chance on those titles after a mass mailing of materials to magazine publishers nationwide, asking more than 100 publi cations to make a video explaining their readers’ tastes, attitudes, likes and dislikes.

“We’ve got to keep restless [and] find newer and smarter ways” to leverage clients’ media dollars, Moynihan said.

Representing roughly one-third of MPG’s $3 billion in domestic billings, Arnold MPG also handles such clients as Royal Caribbean, and Choice Hotels. Sibling shop Arnold McGrath, New York, operates a separate media division, though efforts are under way to integrate its operations into Arnold MPG, Moynihan said.