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BBDO Names Tara DeVeaux CMO; Doubles Down on Insights, Data

Omnicom Shop Also Elevates Crystal Rix to Chief Strategy Officer

By Published on .

BBDO New York's Team of Specialists: Tina Allan, John Osborn, Crystal Rix, Greg Hahn, Tara DeVeaux, Sharona Sankar-King, Denise Henry, Kirsten Flanik, Julian Cole and Dave Rolfe.
BBDO New York's Team of Specialists: Tina Allan, John Osborn, Crystal Rix, Greg Hahn, Tara DeVeaux, Sharona Sankar-King, Denise Henry, Kirsten Flanik, Julian Cole and Dave Rolfe. Credit: Credit: Billy Siegrist, BBDO New York
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BBDO New York has hired Ming Utility and Entertainment Group President Tara DeVeaux as its new chief marketing officer, while upping Business Development Director Crystal Rix to chief strategy officer as part of the shop's plan to become more data and insight-driven.

Ms. DeVeaux, who reports to BBDO New York CEO John Osborn, takes on Ms. Rix's business development responsibilities, in addition to enhancing the agency's marketing and helping tell its story. Simon Bond, who left BBDO in 2015 to become chief growth officer at Interpublic, previously served as CMO of the Omnicom agency. Ms. Deveaux is a BBDO vet—prior to opening Ming, she had been exec VP-account manager there.

While the chief strategy officer title is new, the responsibilities of Jeff Kenyon, who left BBDO New York in August after serving as the head of planning, will fall under Ms. Rix's remit. Ms. Rix will oversee the agency's streamlined strategic practice, which now includes communications planning and data and marketing science. She reports to BBDO New York President Kirsten Flanik. Ms. Rix will continue to lead strategic guidance on the AT&T brand in addition to her expanded role.

The newly streamlined operation will allow BBDO to be more upfront with data and use it in smarter ways to help clients reach the right audiences across various channels, said Mr. Osborn.

"We want to continue to do world-class mass advertising and communications to large audiences, but more and more we know we have to also be able to deliver precision-based marketing on behalf of our clients," he said.

Ms. Flanik added that speed is important, which is why the agency has evolved its digital thinking and communications planning into the narrative of "data times context times creativity equals the new economic multiplier."

The end goal for the 120-year-old agency remains the same, which is to create great content that drives business growth, but in today's world, Mr. Osborn said that requires BBDO to do things differently and make sure it is set up in the best way to deliver all solution sets for clients.

Ming CEO Brian DiLorenzo said, "We're sad to lose Tara. She has been a valued partner since the very inception of Ming. But we're absolutely happy for her and her new opportunity. Having been good friends and colleagues for many years and more to come, we all wish her the very best."

Mr. DiLorenzo co-founded Ming with Ms. DeVeaux and chief creative officer and Chairman Linus Karlsson in June 2014. Mr. Karlsson said they have found someone to take over Ms. DeVeaux's role, and will be announcing that person shortly.

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