Y&R Boosts Newton

Keith Newton, a 19-year veteran of Young & Rubicam who has held planning posts in Australia, London and New York, has become director of brand planning at the agency’s flagship New York office.

Newton, who also carries the title of managing partner, succeeds Marta LaRock, who has taken a global job under Steph anie Kugelman, world wide chief strategic officer.

Since January, Newton, 44, has worked with CEO Ed Vick to coordinate and improve Y&R’s plan ning capabilities globally. Before that, he ran a research group that handled clients such as Xerox and Campbell’s.

Newton will oversee some 25 planners and seek to further incorporate planning in the creative process. He reports to New York CEO Ron Bess.

“Keith knows Y&R. He has had great success as an account planner who partners with creative and account people,” said Bess, in an internal memo. “He has an unrivaled reputation throughout the Y&R world—indeed the industry—as a straight shooter, a champion of great creative and a ter rific person to work with.”

Bess also cited Newton’s familiarity with the Brand Asset Valuator, a research tool the shop uses to develop and test ideas. Part of Newton’s mission as planning chief is to get staffers to use the tool more often.

Newton also hopes to strengthen ties between the planning and creative departments by reaching out to chief creative officer Jim Ferguson and putting some planners in the creative department, which Ferguson supports. As for his management style, Newton aims to be a facilitator, noting, “I enjoy idiosyncrasies in planners, so I’d rather let people run their own businesses” than tell them what to do.