Auto Account Vet Joins Initiative

NEW YORK Interpublic Group’s Initiative has hired automotive account veteran Fred Sattler as evp, managing director to manage its Hyundai/Kia media planning and buying account, which the agency won earlier this month after a review that began in October.

The Irvine, Calif.-based client spent more than $800 million on ads in 2006 (the last full year for which spending data is available), according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. That makes the carmaker Initiative’s biggest client.

Sattler, 51, was a key member of Initiative’s pitch team as a consultant. Previously, he had been evp, general manager at Omnicom Group’s PHD Detroit and one of the top executives on the shop’s Chrysler account.

Sattler is now in the process of building a Los Angeles-based team that will be dedicated to the Hyundai/Kia account. “We’re looking for and interviewing media and marketing experts who will bring fresh thinking to this category,” said Sattler in a statement. “We want to bring excitement and engagement to automotive marketing ideas that will captivate drivers.”

Prior to PHD, Sattler was with Doner in Southfield, Mich., where he rose to evp, chief media officer and led a 190-person team that managed more than $1 billion in media for clients such as Mazda, May Co., Six Flags and Outback Steakhouse. Earlier, he spent 12 years at Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., where he was recognized for developing a strategy that combined account and media planning functions.

“Fred was one of the people leading the media revolution before a lot of people even knew there was one,” said Richard Beaven, North American CEO, Initiative, in a statement. “He’s been a pioneer throughout his career, and his comfort working in both traditional and digital environments makes him the right person for Initiative, Hyundai and Kia.”

Sattler will report to Beaven.