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Adding charlotte beers to the heart of the batting order at J. Walter Thompson Co., where, as chairman, she will work in tandem with CEO Chris Jones, looks at this juncture like an inspired bit of coaching. While her return to active duty in the agency business had been the subject of speculation for some time, the appointment was still a gutsy one.

There is the matter of chemistry and egos. Ms. Beers wouldn't be back on the playing field at JWT after retiring as head of sister WPP Group agency Ogilvy & Mather if WPP chief Martin Sorrell wasn't looking to add some additional high-profile client-handling skills and energy to JWT. JWT's Mr. Jones has endured some rough going but, with a few recent account wins under his agency's belt, things were beginning to look up. With Ms. Beers on the scene, she can add to the momentum -- if the Beers/Jones partnership clicks.

If nothing else, the Beers appointment already has created fresh interest in what happens next at JWT, and that's always a plus in this business. When Charlotte Beers comes calling, we suspect she'll get a hearing in many advertiser offices. Maybe that's why Wall Street happily bumped WPP Group stock up on the news of her return. Now can Ms. Beers leave a stronger JWT behind when