Wells’ Perkins And Baer Land At New Agencies

Shop’s Ex-President Goes to BBDO; Heineken Creative to FCB
NEW YORK–Former Wells BDDP president Bill Perkins has been hired by BBDO to head its Bestfoods U.S. business as executive vice president, senior account director.
Separately, Steve Baer, formerly a managing partner on Wells’ Heineken account, has joined Foote, Cone & Belding as an executive vice president, deputy creative director. That makes Baer, who will oversee AT&T work, No. 2 in his department, reporting to executive creative director Ted Littleford.
“Bill brings terrific energy and experience to our company,” said Tom Carey, BBDO New York’s co-chief executive. Perkins was chief operating officer of Lord, Dentsu & Partners’ New York and Los Angeles offices from 1994 to 1996. He also gained packaged goods experience at the former Benton & Bowles here and J. Walter Thompson in Chicago.
Perkins, 44, will oversee the Hellmann’s, Best Foods, Karo, Mazola and Skippy brands on the $40 million account. He will also be involved in new business efforts (Perkins joined Wells in 1997 as executive vice president, business development). Perkins replaces David Srere, who now oversees Federal Express.
Baer, meanwhile, joined Wells in 1995 after five years at Hal Riney & Partners in San Francisco, where he helped to launch Saturn. Baer said he turned down an offer to follow Heineken to Lowe & Partners/SMS because he would have been one of several creatives on the account and would have been limited to working on that one piece of business.
Although his new job focuses on AT&T, Baer, 43, will also have input on other accounts.
“So many places are not really moving along, it’s fun to be a part of something that’s shifting,” Baer said of FCB. “You want to be a part of that shift and help it along. It’s certainly not status quo.”
Baer’s first task will be to explore ways AT&T spokesman Paul Reiser’s role can be expanded in the campaign. –with Hank Kim