MPG Makes Key Hires on Sears Business

NEW YORK Former Johnson & Johnson advertising executive Kaki Hinton has joined Havas’ MPG as evp, managing director on the Sears media planning and buying account, which MPG won in May as part of the $740 million Sears Holdings review.

Separately, MPG has hired David Handelman to oversee K-Mart, a Sears unit that moved to MPG in the Sears competition.

Hinton will be based in MPG’s New York office and report to Steve Lanzano, CEO of MPG’s U.S. operations. Handelman will be based in Chicago and also report to Lanzano.

Prior to joining MPG, Hinton was vp, advertising services at J&J Consumer Group. Before that, she served as vp, advertising services at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, which J&J acquired in late 2006.

Lanzano said Hinton’s “significant and extensive firsthand client experience is arguably unmatched among our competition and we couldn’t be happier knowing that this important new client will be in her capable hands.”

Hinton also has a long-standing professional relationship with Perianne Grignon, vp, media services at Sears, with whom she will now work closely. The pair co-chaired the Association of National Advertisers’ television committee for five years and also worked with others to help create the Family Friendly Programming Forum, a group funding the development of scripts for new network series. It also holds an annual awards gala honoring the best family-friendly shows.

“As an agency, MPG’s growth has been extremely impressive,” Hinton said. “They have a unique working methodology grounded in a deep belief in innovation and the sharing of ideas and experiences which in my opinion is the key to the success in achieving any brand’s or retailer’s sales growth.”

Handelman joins MPG from the Chicago office of WPP’s MindShare, where he was strategic planning director on the Sears account for seven years.

“David has developed a reputation for keen strategic insights, and is highly respected for the depth of knowledge he possesses about his clients’ businesses,” said Lanzano.