Dawn Hudson Moves To DMB&B; DDB Needham Exec Tackles Turbulent N.Y. Shop

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In need of new business and new energy, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles hired a top executive from DDB Needham Worldwide to lead its New York office.

Dawn Hudson, exec VP-client services director at DDB Needham, will become managing director-New York for DMB&B. She takes control of an office that in the last two years has lost more than $200 million in billings from clients including Burger King Corp. and Blockbuster Video.

DMB&B GETS COCA-COLA JOB

In the past four months, DMB&B has resigned another $75 million in business from Kraft Foods and European athletic apparel marketer Umbro. On the other side of the ledger, it recently won the $65 million consolidated account of Tyco Toys and added its first U.S. assignment for Coca-Cola Co.

Executives at Coca-Cola agencies also consider DMB&B and Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, the front-runners in the company's national media-planning review.

HUDSON SUCCEEDS SHERMAN

Ms. Hudson will succeed Norman Sherman, recently promoted from senior VP-managing director-New York to exec VP-Canada. She will report to Richard Hopple, president-North America. Mr. Hopple didn't return calls; DDB officials declined comment.

Ms. Hudson also has worked on the client side of the business. Prior to joining DDB Needham's Chicago office in 1986, she worked at Clairol.

During earlier stints with the former Tatham-Laird & Kudner and Compton Advertising, she worked extensively on Procter & Gamble Co. brands.

Although DMB&B recently lost P&G's Clearasil account, New York remains the agency's lead office on about $600 million in P&G billings, $400 million of that in the U.S.

At DDB Needham, Ms. Hudson's primary clients were Johnson & Johnson and PepsiCo's Frito-Lay. One Frito executive called her an innovator and said she was widely respected by management. A year ago, Frito-Lay CEO Steve Reinemund gave some credit for its Rold Gold brand's success to Ms. Hudson.

NO REPLACEMENT AT DDB NEEDHAM

DDB Needham executives said Ms. Hudson probably won't be replaced. Her duties will be split among other members of the agency's executive committee, including Ken Kaess, president, and Peter Tate, exec VP-chief operating officer.

The agency was said to be relieved to hear it was losing Ms. Hudson to a Coca-Cola Co. agency, because that virtually eliminates the possibility of the Frito-Lay account following her.

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