Jon Bond Joins Social-Media Agency Big Fuel

Co-Founder of Kirshenbaum Bond Charged With Managing Growth, Snaring New Business

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Jon Bond, a longtime advertising executive and co-founder of Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners, has become CEO and equity partner of Big Fuel Communications, a social-media-marketing and branded-content agency in New York.

Jon Bond
Jon Bond
Mr. Bond will work closely with Avi Savar, Big Fuel's current CEO and founder, who will now focus on the agency's content development and thought leadership. Big Fuel's clients include General Motors, McDonald's Corp., Mattel's Fisher-Price, Gore-Tex, Budweiser and Colgate-Palmolive. The shop has plans for rapid expansion and aims to hire 200 employees in the early part of the year.

"We wanted to bring in an industry veteran to effectively manage our explosive growth, bring in new business and execute on our strategy," said Mr. Savar in a statement. "Jon's skill set is uniquely suited for the position -- he built one of the most reputable integrated-marketing companies of our time, understands social media and is one of the best nontraditional marketers in the business."

The move to Big Fuel is surprising for Mr. Bond, considering that only seven months ago he set out to build a new marketing-services entity, dubbed Tomorrow, to rival Kirshenbaum parent MDC Partners and other holding companies. Mr. Bond said Tomorrow, which invested in companies such as Klout and crowdsourcing shop Victors & Spoils, will no longer exist in its current form.

A website reserved for that venture is still live, though, simply declaring "Tomorrow is Coming."

"What's evolved from my original plan is that now the goal is to make social media the center, and build complementary pieces around it," Mr. Bond told Ad Age. "Social media has tentacles that reach all aspects of marketing. The model is no longer about a series of agencies doing new-age marketing. Tomorrow was a holding company, and this is a platform company."

In other words, Big Fuel is looking to partner with companies whose capabilities are related only to social media. Mr. Bond said there are a few acquisition targets the agency is considering, such as companies that offer proprietary technology, for instance.

"What's become clear is that social media is at the center of the marketing world," Mr. Bond said. "So the question is: What social-media agency is going to be at the center of social media? I think that is up for grabs and [Big Fuel] has the right DNA, right scale and right client base to define the global social media AOR."

Although his roots are set in a large traditional agency, Mr. Bond, who not long ago compared running a traditional shop to being captain of the Titanic, said he thinks he'll be comfortable in the social-media space. "At Kirshenbaum Bond, we were always innovating, looking ahead in terms what was going on in the marketing world," he said. "Where I wouldn't be comfortable is in the status quo."

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