NEW YORK Gregory Aston has joined Havas’ MPG in the new position of svp, competitive intelligence, the agency has confirmed.

Aston will be responsible for overseeing MPG’s newly formed competitive intelligence capability to help clients better understand the marketing strategies of their key competitors. The competitive intelligence offering encompasses data base solutions, advertising/marketing analysis, equity research and scenario planning.

Aston will report to Joe Abruzzo, evp, director of research at MPG North America.

Commenting on the appointment, Abruzzo said the new post “provides us with a substantive point of differentiation to use on behalf of our clients. Gregory is absolutely the right guy to head up this new area.”

Before joining MPG, Aston was a senior partner and director of a similar competitive analysis unit at WPP Group’s Mediaedge:cia. He joined MEC in 2001, and before that was with FCB as vp, associate director of competitive insights and analysis.

At MPG, Aston will be reunited with both Abruzzo, who oversaw Aston’s unit at MEC, and MPG chief operating officer Steve Lanzano, who was CEO of MEC’s North American operation before joining MPG in 2003.