Power Players 2007: 11 - 15

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INDEX | 1 - 5 | 6 - 10 | 11 - 15 | 16 - 20 | 21 - 25 | 26 - 30
11 TIM
KELLY
CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
SPRINT NEXTEL CORP.
AD BUDGET:
$1.78 BILLION
AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Organic, San Francisco
  • WPP's MindShare, N.Y.
  • POWER PLAY:
    Tim Kelly, 48, took over as CMO last spring, succeeding 2006 Power Player Mark Schweitzer. Mr. Kelly ran Sprint marketing before being promoted to another role, only to jump back into the problem-plagued merger of Sprint and Nextel. As it becomes more difficult to compete with the category's powerhouses, Sprint is trying to change the game with the rollout next year of CEO Gary Forsee's WiMax technology. Sprint's new ad campaign, focusing on "speed," got mixed reviews from analysts, with some saying it's weak but one praising it as "changing the way customers think" about Sprint.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Sprint faces continued challenges on every front. Even its Pivot joint venture providing wireless service as part of bundled offerings to cable-company subscribers is stalled. Mr. Kelly told Advertising Age earlier this year that Sprint planned to fight the iPhone by highlighting offerings such as the UpStage cellphone/MP3 player. Finally, Nextel paid dearly for its Nascar sponsorship, and Sprint is finally changing the name from Nextel Cup to Sprint Cup.
    12 RICK
    SEARER
    EXEC VP-PRESIDENT, KRAFT NORTH AMERICA
    KRAFT FOODS
    AD BUDGET:
    $1.42 BILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Havas' Euro RSCG, N.Y.
  • Interpublic's DraftFCB, N.Y. and Chicago
  • Omnicom's DDB, Chicago
  • Publicis' MediaVest USA, N.Y.
  • WPP's JWT, Chicago; Ogilvy & Mather, N.Y. and Chicago
  • Nitro, N.Y.
  • POWER PLAY:
    A tough turnaround mission is being driven by Rick Searer, 54, who's reworking agency relationships, resulting in a move of $160 million in business from JWT to existing roster shops and new roster agencies Nitro and Euro RSCG. Mr. Searer also was at the helm of new-media efforts as Kraft "went digital" by entering virtual world Second Life. The second half of the year is expected to benefit the most from Kraft's marketing-expenditure increase of $300 million to $400 million.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Kraft's multibillion-dollar cheese business continues to be a problem even though the category is arguably the most important in terms of company profitability. Recent campaigns and new products, among them Kraft LiveActive probiotic cheese, haven't been enough to convince consumers to pay premium prices. Despite talk of focusing on growth brands, Kraft has yet to determine exactly what in its portfolio deserves the added dollars; analysts believe Kraft is distracted by multiple categories.
    13 JOHN
    MENDEL
    SENIOR VP-AUTO OPERATIONS
    AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO.
    AD BUDGET:
    $1.35 BILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • RPA, Santa Monica, Calif.
  • La Agencia de Orci & Asociados, L.A.
  • Muse, L.A.
  • POWER PLAY:
    John Mendel, 53, isn't afraid of big-media ad buys, again placing Honda in the Super Bowl this year. Coming up on his third anniversary since joining Honda from Mazda North American Operations, where he was chief operating officer, Mr. Mendel is backing Honda's volume car, the redone Accord, with the company's priciest model launch. That support is estimated at more than $100 million, including a bigger online push with several sites that are bundling their own content to appeal to Accord's Gen X target.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Mr. Mendel needs to build the Acura brand, which saw U.S. unit sales decline nearly 8% through August; there's talk of an Acura agency review in the cards. He also must grapple with the Honda brand's sagging truck sales. A successful U.S. Accord launch is crucial, since Honda has already warned of a profits drop this fiscal year, which ends in March. But experts are skeptical of Honda's strategy of making Gen X the main target for the new Accord. Can Mr. Mendel and RPA make the two brands more exciting with styling and messaging?
    14 PETER
    SACHSE
    CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
    MACY'S
    AD BUDGET:
    $1.36 BILLION
    ADVERTISING HANDLED IN-HOUSE
    POWER PLAY:
    After being demoted and replaced by an outsider, longtime Macy's insider Peter Sachse is back at the marketing helm. Even though it looks like Mr. Sachse, 49, won the internal leadership battle, a bigger fight remains -- reviving the struggling retail chain. It's been a longtime battle at Macy's between the traditional promotion and sale, sale, sale approach to delivering comps and the branding approach espoused by ousted CMO Anne MacDonald. The question remains whether the pressures of Wall Street won out before a national TV branding effort could prove its worth. Where Mr. Sachse chooses to sink the bulk of his $1 billion-plus spending -- newspapers or TV -- will have a huge impact on the media environment.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Can Mr. Sachse's formula of old-school merchandising tactics and traditional newspaper advertising do the trick in a tough retail environment? Is it possible with newspaper ads to turn Macy's into a destination retailer? The challenges are rife as Macy's reports some of the sector's worst same-store sales.
    15 MARK
    MCNABB
    SENIOR VP-SALES AND MARKETING
    NISSAN NORTH AMERICA
    AD BUDGET:
    $1.33 BILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Omnicom's TBWA Worldwide and OMD, L.A.
  • True Agency, L.A.
  • Vidal Partnership, N.Y.
  • POWER PLAY:
    Mark McNabb returned to Nissan last spring from Mercedes-Benz USA as the Japanese automaker was kicking off the first phase of another new-model onslaught and Infiniti was expanding into new worldwide markets (he's also corporate VP heading Infiniti globally). Late last month he pushed out VP-Marketing Jan Thompson and replaced her with Ford marketer Ben Poore. The Nissan brand should do well with the new Rogue small sport-utility vehicle.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Although Nissan and Infiniti posted U.S. vehicle-sales increases through August and the automaker is making money globally, its profits have slid. Mr. McNabb, 46, must ensure new-model ad budgets are ample to remedy Nissan's past launch-and-leave strategy. He'll have to devise strategies to strengthen the two brands, areas Nissan Motor Corp. CEO Carlos Ghosn has said need improving.
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