Digitas Bolsters Ranks With Two Top Execs From Tribal DDB

New Business, Global Are Focus for Hires as Agency Keeps Expanding Internationally

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Publicis Groupe's Digitas has bolstered its management team, snatching Tribal DDB's Stephan Beringer to run its operations outside the U.S. and hiring former Tribal executive Liz Ross as its chief growth officer in the U.S.

Stephan Beringer and Liz Ross
Stephan Beringer and Liz Ross Credit: Darryl Estrine
In a statement that announced her hire, Digitas said Ms. Ross, who was head of Tribal DDB's U.S. operations when she left in March, will be responsible for leading new-business initiatives, a key area for Digitas given the woes at two of its largest clients, General Motors Corp. and American Express. The agency also recently lost its hold on Delta Air Lines' creative account, which went to Wieden & Kennedy this spring. (Digitas, however, held onto duties in digital marketing, media, and CRM, among other disciplines.)

Mr. Beringer, who couldn't be reached for comment, has been tapped as president of Digitas Global, making him responsible for Europe and Asia-Pacific, among other regions. He replaces Allen Rutherford, who joined in 2007 from Unilever. News of Mr. Rutherford's departure broke last week.

Through acquisitions and partnerships, Digitas has been aggressive in its international expansion since the once publicly traded company was purchased by Publicis in late 2006. Besides growing its footprint, the longtime expert in analytics has been working to put a more creative face on the agency, an effort that should be aided by the hires from Tribal DDB. Philips and Tribal's Amsterdam agency took the top prize in the film category at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes for a digitally focused campaign called "Carousel."

Mr. Beringer and Ms. Ross were key players in Tribal DDB's growth as a digital partner that could do more than just build websites or design banner ads. That growth was recognized by Advertising Age in January 2008, when Tribal became the first digital agency to win the Global Agency of the Year award.

A Tribal DDB rep couldn't be reached for comment.

The Public Groupe agency also announced that Global Chief Marketing Officer Seth Solomons' responsibilities would be expanded. He now shares oversight of all agency capabilities with global creative chief Mark Beeching. Mr. Solomons, who reports to worldwide CEO Laura Lang, now oversees new business, strategy and analytics, media, technology, and corporate communications.

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