Saatchi Wants Media Hires to Make ‘Statement’

Looking to make what CEO Scott Gilbert called “the strongest possible statement” about media’s role in a full-service agency, Toyota shop Saatchi & Saatchi in Torrance, Calif., has recruited two well-known automotive media executives.

Bonnie Chan, communications director at Team One, will join Nov. 1 as integrated communications director, a new post. Automotive media veteran Jim Hel berg, vp/corporate sales for Time Inc. here, will arrive Oct. 7 as director of media operations.

Media director Emily Weiss left Saatchi in August to join Dailey & Asso ciates. Gilbert said the hires demonstrate that “media planning is integral to what we do … on site and fully in volved.” (Saatchi’s Pub licis Groupe sibling Zen ith Media in New York does broadcast buying for the shop’s clients, including Toy ota. Saatchi buys print.)

Chan, 50, will co or dinate integrated ef forts with the agency’s media, interactive and lifestyle marketing groups. She held a similar position at Team One when it restructured its media operations in January 2001, forming what it called a communications department. Among other things, that department developed an integrated plan for the Lexus ES that encouraged consumers to build their own commercial on Lexus’ Web site.

“I’m a very restless person, always looking for new challenges,” said Chan. “We built a strong team at Team One, and I felt that my job was done.”

Helberg, 41, has worked on Mada, Mitsubishi and Honda at Foote, Cone & Belding; Rubin, Pos taer & Asso ciates; and Grey Advertising. He joined Time in 1998, and worked with Gilbert on a 2001 integrated program for the Camry relaunch. “I was raised in the agency business, mostly automotive, and this job is the summit of both,” he said.