MediaVest Hires Former Unilever Media Exec for Kraft

Jon Stimmel to Oversee All Video Activations

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Jon Stimmel, former director of media investment and partnerships at package-goods giant Unilever, has recently jumped back into the agency world and landed at Publicis Groupe's MediaVest. Mr. Stimmel will serve as senior VP-group client director working solely on one of the agency's biggest clients, Kraft. As the investment lead for Kraft, Mr. Stimmel will manage overall channel strategy and oversee all video activations.

This is not Mr. Stimmel's first stop at an agency. Before spending the last seven-and-a-half years at Unilever he was the senior VP-manager national broadcast at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe.

"Working on the client side, specifically with Unilever, was great context into how media fits into the overall marketing mix," Mr. Stimmel told Ad Age. "We weren't specialists within a specific channel. We had to speak across all channels and be channel agnostic." MediaVest has organized the overall structure of the agency around a similar idea, he added. "Being able to bring that expertise to a client like Kraft was something very valuable to me, especially in a leadership role," he said.

Not only did Mr. Stimmel, who has been with MediaVest for about a month now, leave Unilever while it's in the midst of a global media agency review, but he's also heading to an agency whose client roster includes his former employer's biggest competitors.

A Unilever spokesman said the company had no concerns about Mr. Stimmel leaving to work for an agency that services Procter & Gamble and Kraft. The spokesman also said the search for Mr. Stimmel's replacement was already under way and that Unilever doesn't disclose any "specific roles" its employees play in the agency review process.

Mr. Stimmel said the approach he learned at Unilever of integrating digital into all aspects of its marketing plans will figure significantly into his strategies. "There's a great opportunity for doing that here," he said. "Clearly there are some challenges in some of the mass media channels, which is why it's more important to engage in a digital relationship with consumers. That's the greatest opportunity we have and it's also the most fun thing we do."

Bill Tucker, CEO of MediaVest USA, said Mr. Stimmel's well-rounded background will make him a strong asset to the agency and Kraft. "Jon has proven leadership in spearheading investment and negotiation for world-class brands," Mr. Tucker said in an e-mail. "He brings a 360-degree perspective to the marketplace that comes from rich experience from both the client and agency sides of the industry. He also brings in-depth digital and interactive TV expertise to his video investment and activation role."

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Contributing: Andrew Hampp and Jack Neff.

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