New Post for Veteran Planner

LOS ANGELES Independent davidandgoliath has hired Clive Whitcher as director of account planning to work with key clients such as Kia Motors America and Universal Studios Hollywood.

In Whitcher, 54, the agency gains a seasoned strategic thinker credited with helping to introduce planning on the West Coast two decades ago during his tenure on the Nissan account at the agency then known as Chiat/Day.

Whitcher for the past two years has worked as a consultant following a stint at Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi in Torrance, Calif., where he led planning on its flagship Toyota assignment.

At davidandgoliath here, he takes on duties that had been temporarily handled by managing partner Ruth Amir following the departure of former chief planner Amy Palmer.

“I only want to work at agencies that focus on creative,” said Whitcher. “Good planning has to do with making the creative more stimulating, more meaningful—better.”

Whitcher said he was particularly intrigued by the opportunity presented by Kia. “Kia is building a heritage that really fits as the market, economics and media are changing. Kia can take advantage of this, like a teenager who can take advantage of and adapt to what’s new,” he said.

He began his career at London shops Collett Dickenson Pearce and SJIP before moving to Chiat/Day in 1982.

“What Clive brings is unparalleled experience on brands, from Porsche to Toyota and Nike, and mentoring to some of the most important talent, like Lee Clow and [former Saatchi CCO] Steve Rabosky,” said davidandgoliath chairman and creative chief David Angelo. “His approach is void of the same old smoke and mirrors. It’s grounded in real human truth. Having one of the pioneers in the industry is a coup for all our clients and our brand.”

Whitcher described his arrival as “a homecoming,” having previously worked with several davidandgoliath staffers, notably Amir, group account director Mike Dillon, managing partner Mike Braue and account director Brook Dore.

Davidandgoliath has about 80 employees and claims billings in excess of $400 million. Kia annually spends more than $250 million on domestic advertising and is by far the shop’s largest client.