Ms. Smith's promotion creates a two-person leadership team for L'Oreal, with Ms. Smith based in the U.S., which accounts for more than half L'Oreal's volume, and Claude Solanet, also worldwide account director, in Paris, where L'Oreal is based.
L'Oreal is one of the five largest accounts at Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann, the world's No. 2 ad agency. According to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, the marketers spent about $494 million in U.S. measured media last year. McCann, which does not handle all Loreal brands, is said to have global billings for the client of about $1 billion.
"Because of the sheer volume of work we do for [L'Oreal] in 70 countries, it's difficult for one person to do," said Ms. Smith, who has worked on the account for seven years. "We're trying to create a structure that allows us to work more collaboratively, with both L'Oreal and McCann in New York and L'Oreal and McCann in Paris functioning more as a team. As we head into different creative projects we can divide and conquer instead of duplicate," she said.
Ms. Smith also holds down what she considers a "night job." She is exec VP-director of office operations and group managing director for McCann's New York office.
About six months after she assumed the role in 1999, Ms. Smith learned the agency would be making the largest move in its history. The agency was slated to move its headquarters to new offices in midtown Manhattan by summer of 2002, and Ms. Smith quickly learned she would be spearheading the effort. The schedule has since accelerated: By the end of this year, McCann's 1,200 New York employees will relocate to 450,000 square feet of office space that Ms. Smith's team is in charge of designing.
Prior to joining McCann in 1985, Ms. Smith held both account management and financial posts at Dentsu Y&R and Young & Rubicam in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles.