DDB Needham combines non-traditional ad units

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In a move to better organize its integrated services, DDB Needham Worldwide has combined its U.S. non-traditional advertising disciplines in a new unit, called Beyond DDB.

Ray Gillette, previously president of integrated services for DDB Needham's Chicago office, is president of the national operation, whose disciplines include direct marketing, interactive, promotions, event marketing, merchandising and public relations.

Mr. Gillette will remain headquartered in Chicago and will report to Ken Kaess, president of U.S. operations.

When Mr. Kaess was promoted to that post earlier this year, he said his first objective was the unification of the various DDB Needham offices--New York, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He already has combined DDB Needham's separate media operations into Optimum Media.

The concept of combining integrated services was first discussed in March, and the unit has been operating unofficially since July.


Mr. Kaess said the establishment of the network will demonstrate DDB Needham's range of resources, while making internal operations "cleaner."

Mr. Kaess said many of the offices previously operated together only on a case-by-case basis, and that the agency had three separately branded interactive units in different offices. The Chicago office had its integrated services branded under the name The Works, which has been abolished.

Beyond DDB fosters communication among its different disciplines, said Mr. Gillette. The Beyond DDB board of directors--which includes representatives from each office--will meet at least twice a year and hold monthly conference calls.

Mr. Kaess, who noted the agency has not had to add any disciplines, also said the establishment of the unit more clearly defines the lines of when DDB Needham should partner with parent Omnicom Group's Diversified Agency Services unit. DAS is a $1 billion organization consisting of a variety of speciality marketing divisions.


"It will improve our ability to access the appropriate resources at DAS," Mr. Kaess said.

Although they will not be housed under the Beyond DDB umbrella, Hispanic agency del Rivero, Messianu, Coral Gables, Fla., and urban marketing agency Spike/DDB, New York, will be affiliated with the new unit.

Copyright October 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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