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Campbell Mithun Names Rob Buchner CEO

Shift Sets Up Battle of Brothers in Minneapolis

By Published on . 1

Longtime Fallon executive Rob Buchner is moving to CEO of Interpublic's Campbell Mithun -- where he will compete with his brother, Fallon CEO Mike Buchner.

Rob Buchner
Rob Buchner

Rob Buchner, who spent 24 years at Publicis Groupe's Fallon, Minneapolis, most recently as the agency's chief marketing officer, begins work at crosstown agency Campbell Mithun on July 8. The shift means two Buchners will be CEOs of Minneapolis agencies: Rob Buchner at Campbell-Mithun and his brother Mike Buchner at Fallon.

The brothers Buchner have worked together at Fallon since 1989 -- Rob's entire tenure at the agency. Rob became CMO of Fallon in 2004, and previously held roles in various units of the agency including digital, marketing services and its entertainment practice, also playing a role in Fallon's expansion overseas.

"This is a big move for me after being at a place for that long, but I'm finding it's a smooth transition," said Rob Buchner, who noted that he has fielded just about every other agency job from account management to launching a digital practice. "This is the perfect environment for me to take my career forward."

"My brother has been preparing for a CEO job his entire career," said Mike Buchner. "I'm proud of Rob and no one could be happier for him than me. He'll bring great passion, energy and experience to Campbell-Mithun in this new role."

Rob Buchner succeeds Steve Wehrenberg, who left Campbell Mithun for a position at the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Mr. Wehrenberg remains with Campbell Mithun in a non-executive chairman role. "I have known and respected Rob for nearly three decades -- he's got the right combination of world-class brand-building experience, energy and an integrated mindset to lead the agency into the future," said Mr. Wehrenberg.

Mike Buchner
Mike Buchner

Campbell-Mithun is not unfamiliar territory for Rob Buchner -- he started his career there and spent four years at the shop in the '80s. "I've always been drawn to their offering and business model...I think as a platform it's really right for the times. [There's a] terrific media play here, a digital offering that's robust and Campbell Mithun has always had this strong account management core that allows them to build brands over a long period of time," he said.

While the CMO post at Fallon won't be filled at this time, Mike Buchner said that Meagan Kempen, who has been working alongside Rob since the beginning of the year as director of business development, will handle new business for Fallon.

Rob Buchner departs Fallon just weeks after the agency lost its key Cadillac account to an Interpublic cohort called Rogue. Although he said said his departure is unrelated to the Cadillac loss, the account defection is a blow to Fallon, which worked on the business for nearly three years.

When Fallon lost the Caddy account, Mike Buchner said in a note to employees that the loss was "an outcome we did not deserve" and touted the agency's work on a brand "that was emerging from bankruptcy, gave it a differentiating positioning, brand identity and voice, and made Cadillac the fastest- growing major car brand in the United States." Even so, Fallon faces a challenge in replacing an account of that size.

Campbell Mithun has not had a major account win in recent months, but the agency has been working to bolster its offerings through initiatives like launching its own trading desk for Compass Point Media, its media buying and planning group. Clients include General Mills, Land O Lakes, Chipotle and Betty Crocker, among others.
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