Mr. Assumma takes over an agency whose gross income declined 30% from 1989 to 1994, to $92.8 million. Then in the spring of this year, a scandal involving misappropriation of agency funds forced out the president and chief financial officer of the agency.
Jean-Claude Boulet, president-CEO of parent BDDP in Paris, said Mr. Assumma's task is to ``aggressively grow the WRG business.'' Though WRG's roster includes some blue-chip clients, including Chase Manhattan Bank, Ford Motor Co., Hertz Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co., the agency has had trouble attracting new business. It scored its first big new-business win of the year two weeks ago, winning the $15 million Heineken USA account.
Mr. Assumma, 42, will not be a stranger to business-development woes. Bates North America has lost more than $100 million in billings from clients such as M&M/Mars and Campbell Soup Co. Its $50 million Miller Genuine Draft account, which was led by Mr. Assumma, is in review.