JWT's Burdon gets global UDV post

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J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, has tapped Rae Burdon as the worldwide director in charge of its United Distillers & Vintners account.

The global director of UDV's Smirnoff and Tanqueray labels in London since last year, Mr. Burdon, 48, retains those responsibilities and becomes the director of all UDV brand business in North America, including Malibu, Baileys and J&B.

Because of Mr. Burdon's qualifications, JWT decided to bring him to New York to oversee the totality of the North American UDV account. Total billings for UDV's London and New York offices are an estimated $200 million.

"It may sound old-fashioned or cliched, but the reason I accepted the additional responsibilities in New York was the challenge," said Mr. Burdon. "These are great brands, and I'm continuing to work with an agency that I've admired for a very long time. I view this work as the pinnacle: tackling big strategic issues in big markets with big clients."

Mr. Burdon has had extensive experience in the industry, most recently at Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi, London.


For the time being, Mr. Burdon will be working out of both the New York and London offices of JWT, with a primary focus on the new U.S. business. He will continue to travel to Amsterdam and Dublin to fulfill his responsibilities with Tanqueray and Smirnoff, respectively.

Mr. Burdon's goals for the next year are simple, he said. "It's hard to get words that distinguish advertising in a way that hasn't been done before, but I want memorable, accurate advertising. `Relevant unexpected' is the best expression that I've heard to describe what I want to do. Though I quite like the idea that other people would call it great," he laughed.

Mr. Burdon replaces David Simpson, a 15-year veteran of JWT and the director in charge of UDV's New York business account. Mr. Simpson, who is leaving to help expand global business at Doremus & Co., New York, also oversaw JWT's Bermuda Department of Tourism account.

Formerly at Grey Worldwide, New York, Mark Paviluk will replace Mr. Simpson on the Bermuda account as senior partner and management director. Billings for the Bermuda account are estimated at $15 million to $20 million.

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