Saatchi Taps President Out West

LOS ANGELES Paul Mareski has been named president of Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi in Torrance, Calif., the agency said.

Mareski starts Monday, reporting to Kurt Ritter, chairman of West Coast operations at the shop, which is best known for serving as lead agency on Toyota’s account. Ritter has served as president since the departure of David Murphy in March 2007.

“I’d like the 300 people here to be all focused on the same clearly stated goals,” Mareski said. “And all with a healthy dose of energy and fun.”

“With Toyota’s new products and new efforts, there’s plenty of opportunity to grow” that business, rather than initially focus on adding new accounts, he said. “Still, we’d be silly not to be looking for the right fit in new-business situations.”

Mareski was previously executive director of the ideas management group on Lexus national and dealer association business at Saatchi sibling Team One in El Segundo, Calif. Chuck Maguy, a former director of Saatchi’s ideas management group, will replace Mareski at Team One, the agency confirmed.

Mareski, 39, has spent 17 years in the automotive marketing business, including a stint in 2004 when he left Team One to become vp, advertising at Mitsubishi Motors North America, though he quickly returned to the agency. The Detroit native began his career at WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam in that market, working on the Lincoln-Mercury account.