WDCW Poaches TBWA’s McKendrick

Pepsi planner to oversee strategy at smaller shop

Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener has landed TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A. group planning director Clyde McKendrick to head up its strategy efforts, the agency announced Monday.

McKendrick will oversee work on the agency’s portfolio of existing clients—which include ESPN, Microsoft, T-Mobile, and TGIF—as well as new business. He’ll report to CEO Ben Wiener and creative director Court Crandall.

McKendrick spent slightly under a year at TBWA\C\D, where he led strategy for Diet Pepsi – including its widely noted campaign featuring David Beckham and Sofia Vergara. His experience includes co-founding in 2004 The Open Consultancy, a U.K. firm that worked for a string of lifestyle brands including Red Bull, Bombay Sapphire, and Diesel, which folded in 2010. In 2009, he also founded strategy shop Milk, which has worked for Stella Artois and Heineken.

The new hire follows WCDW’s recent efforts to punch up its image and offerings. The agency, which has about 150 employees and $166 million in billings between its L.A. and Seattle offices, was dubbed WongDoody until March 2011 when it added Crandall and Wiener to its title.

McKendrick’s role will focus on helping clients build what the agency calls their “cultural capital,” which will include an emphasis on metrics-driven insights, as well as “creating content for [brands] that drives their relevance, and makes them important,” and “getting beyond the creation of just advertising,” said Wiener.