ThinkLA Honors TBWA\C\D’s Bianchi

LOS ANGELES Carisa Bianchi, president of Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day here, has been named thinkLA’s Leader of the Year.

“Over the years, Chiat\Day has had the toughest job of redefining itself and holding on to its reputation as one of the greatest agencies in the world,” said David Angelo, principal at independent davidandgoliath, El Segundo, Calif., and a thinkLA board member. “From my perspective Carisa has done everything to preserve that legacy. Kudos to her.”

Bianchi said that considering “the folks who have come before me, I feel honored to be part of that company. It signals that the people who have a love, passion and fire in their belly for advertising get recognized and can make an impact.” Bianchi praised her agency colleagues, adding, “No person gets there on their own.”

Bianchi studied political science in college with the intent of working for the FBI or CIA, but “fell into advertising” after school. She began at Benton & Bowles as a group account assistant, moved to DDB Los Angeles as an account executive on Southern California Gas Co., then to J. Walter Thompson as an account supervisor on Arrowhead bottled water. Bianchi arrived at Chiat\Day in 1988 as management supervisor on the agency’s Energizer account.

Bianchi later worked on the U.S. launch of Sony PlayStation, and after a hiatus at Leap Partnership, was named president of Chiat\Day’s San Francisco office in 1988. In 2002, she became a strategic officer at the Los Angeles office before ascending to the presidency in 2005.

During her reign at the Playa del Rey, Calif., agency, TBWA\C\D got on the Procter & Gamble roster with Pur filters and won Visa, Washington Mutual, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Grammy Awards, Principal Financial Group and Pioneer. It also added to more Sara Lee business. The most significant loss during that period was Sony PlayStation, to neighboring Interpublic Group agency Deutsch/LA.

Bianchi said her secret is “not taking yourself too seriously and loving what you do, bringing energy and passion and focus to the job and inspiring others around you.

“I live for the philosophy ‘good enough is not enough’,” she said.

ThinkLA is a consortium of the Ad Club of Los Angeles, Magazine Reps and the L.A. Advertising Agencies Association.