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SAATCHI BEGINS REBUILD OF GENERAL MILLS ACCOUNT TEAM

Names Creative Director; Moves to Fill Vacancies Following Employee Walkout

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, today named a creative director to handle the agency's General Mills advertising account.
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Pete Johnson was named senior vice president and creative director. He will report to Chief Creative Officer Tony Granger. Mr. Johnson, 36, was previously vice president and creative director at Time Warner's Cartoon Network.

First of many appointments
The appointment is expected to be the first of many as the agency looks to fill the 17 positions left vacant after the mass departure Feb. 14 of a large chunk of the General Mills account team.

Although the group that followed their leader, Worldwide Account Director Mike Burns, out the door has been asked by General Mills to at least talk to Saatchi about rejoining the agency, one executive close to Saatchi suggests that as more and more time passes, that scenario looks less and less likely.

Although people close to the account had suggested the group was in talks with Interpublic Group of Cos. to develop a new stand-alone shop -- one that would ideally bring over business from General Mills -- nothing has yet been announced about that unit, and General Mills has forcefully denied any intentions of shifting its business from Saatchi.

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