Simmons in at CP+B

Mark Simmons, a veteran London adman who was once a senior marketing executive at Coca-Cola’s Atlanta headquarters, has joined Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s office here as managing director.

Simmons, 39, shares management responsibilities with creative director Sally Hogs head, 33, who relinquished the managing director title after his arrival.

“I feel this is a big thing waiting to happen,” Simmons said of the L.A. office. “We offer the speed and flexibility of a small shop but the backing and expertise of a major shop,” referring to CP+B’s headquarters in Miami.

Already Simmons is credited with helping the 1-year-old Venice Beach, Calif., office win its second notable account. The shop, which does creative for the Fine Living Channel, was hired last week by the 90-unit restaurant chain Buca di Beppo.

The $4 million creative and media win came after a review that included Butler, Shine & Stern in Sausalito, Calif., Grant, Scott & Hurley in San Francisco and incumbent Kerker in Minneapolis, sources said.

Simmons joined CP+B in August, but the shop waited until it had an account win to trumpet his arrival. Since opening the West Coast operation the day before the 9/11 tragedy, the agency has been trying to crack the market in a tough economic climate.

Simmons, who first came in contact with CP+B when he was a senior global ad manager for Coke’s Sprite brand from 1997-99, demonstrated his hands-on approach by busing tables recently at a Buca di Beppo restaurant in the L.A. area. “If nothing else, I wanted to show I can take orders,” he said. “It was a great way to get a true, close-up look at the operation.”