OgilvyOne Taps Gap’s Romano

NEW YORK Anthony Romano, former director of relationship marketing at the Gap, has joined OgilvyOne here as a senior partner and client service director, the WPP Group agency said.

Romano, 37, fills a vacancy left by this month’s exit of Riccardo Zane, though Romano’s client duties are broader than Zane’s, an agency representative said. (Zane became New York president of Agency.com, a unit of Omnicom Group’s TBWA.)

Aflac, Six Flags and Investools are among the accounts that Romano will manage. Aflac recently expanded its digital and customer relationship management business with OgilvyOne, two years after hiring the shop.

Michelle Bottomley, co-president of Ogilvy’s New York operation, which includes both OgilvyOne and Ogilvy & Mather, said Romano “represents a new breed of agency executive bringing client experience building relationships between brands and their customers, using digital and traditional media fueled by data-driven insights.”

At the Gap, Romano worked on Forth & Towne, a chain that targeted women 35 and older. Forth & Towne launched in 2005 and expanded its footprint last year before closing in June, after a change in Gap management. Romano spent about 18 months at the retailer, working out of a New York office.

Before that, Romano was a senior vice president and group account director at Havas’ Arnold in New York, where he focused on the agency’s interactive and direct marketing arm, Arnold One. Earlier in his career, he was a group account director at Interpublic Group’s Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, managing CRM and interactive assignments from Porsche, Harley-Davidson and A.G. Edwards.

“I’m just looking to be around great brands and great people,” be it at an agency or a marketer, said Romano. “I go after passion brands or brands that are iconic.”

Romano described his management style as rooted in trust. “Hire experts and allow them to thrive and improve,” he explained. “I’m not an over-the-shoulder control freak.”