Y&L Opening Media Buying Unit

MZD’s Reilly Hired to Lead Venture as Shop Targets ‘Next Level’
CHICAGO–Reversing its past dependence on outside resources, Indianapolis agency Young & Laramore is developing its own media buying capabilities.
The 15-year-old, $26 million shop has hired Terri Reilly, media director at crosstown rival Montgomery Zukerman Davis, to head its media department. Reilly will be president of the media unit, which Y&L intends to give a separate, as-yet-undecided brand name, and media director of the agency.
“I came [to Y&L] two years ago with the intention of helping get us to the next level,” said agency president Paul Knapp, who previously worked at Indianapolis law firm (and agency client) Bingham Summers Welsh & Spilman. “We’ve organized the agency and spent the past two years learning to live in that new organization. But media has been an area where I wasn’t convinced we were positioned well enough for us to grow to that next level.”
Creating a branded media buying unit was one of several option the agencies considered, “but we wouldn’t have gone this route without Terri Reilly,” Knapp said. “We have that much confidence in her abilities and strengths.”
A 22-year veteran of MZD, Reilly is well-known and respected by current and prospective clients, Knapp said. That will make it easier to attract top-notch talent and help persuade current Y&L clients to consolidate media buying at the agency, according to Knapp.
Without in-house media buying, Y&L has enlisted outside resources to handle that function. Media That Works in Cincinnati, for example, does the buying for Y&L client Steak n’ Shake restaurants.
Although such arrangements have not put Y&L at a disadvantage in new business pitches, Knapp said the agency determined that “to stay ahead of clients’ needs, we need to provide a timely, quality resource” in the area of media buying.
Some clients have already indicated plans to consolidate media with Y&L, Knapp said, but he added that the agency will continue to work with outside media resources if any clients deem that the best solution.