MullenLowe has appointed Aaron Reitkopf, head of the agency's Profero digital unit for the Americas, as the first president of its New York office.
Mr. Reitkopf, who previously served as CEO of Kirshenbaum & Bond (now KBS) from 1998 to 2009, will retain oversight of Profero in the Americas – a role he has held since 2010. He will report to MullenLowe U.S. CEO Lee Newman and collaborate with Boston-based Executive Creative Directors Tim Vaccarino and Dave Weist, who will now also oversee the creative team in New York. For media capabilities in New York, Mr. Reitkopf will work closely with John Moore, global president of MullenLowe Mediahub.
The MullenLowe New York operation, which has about 150 staffers across all capabilities, is planning to launch an activation and CRM arm called MullenLowe Open, said Mr. Newman. He added that the goal is to "expand the MullenLowe network in the U.S. and build a creative powerhouse in the New York market."
Mr. Reitkopf is the right person to lead MullenLowe New York because of his expertise in running a creative agency and digital operation mixed with his prior financial experience from working on Wall Street before joining the advertising industry, said Mr. Newman.
While MullenLowe will serve domestic and global accounts out of its New York office, Mr. Newman said the hub will "have a certain responsibility as it relates to global accounts, so we have the goal and intention of growing global business there." The office is currently working on the global Unilever account. Western Union is mainly handled out of New York, along with CFA Institute.
Mr. Reitkopf said MullenLowe New York has seen about 50% growth in the last 12 months. His objective, he said, is to continue that momentum by focusing on the agency's "hyper-bundling" philosophy, which is about taking all capabilities, such as creative, media, and PR, and having them work together on client business right from the start.
Last fall, MullenLowe New York appointed creative team Amy Ferguson and Julia Neumann to work on JetBlue, although the account is predominantly handled out of Boston. The duo created the "Flybabies" project, in which a plane full of passengers was rewarded every time a baby on board cried, ultimately landing everyone free round-trip flights. The idea attracted global attention and went viral, with nearly 1.5 million YouTube views in just over a month.