The Player: Pavlika to re-make name for herself at Grey Direct

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Like many agency executives at the end of last year, Holly Pavlika called a headhunter. But unlike many agency staffers, she was neither unemployed nor searching for a job. She needed to fill six vacancies on the panel of judges for the John Caples International Awards for direct marketing, for which she's on the board. Not only did Ms. Pavlika find her six creative directors for the panel, she found a spot for herself as well.

Ms. Pavlika, 46, this week joins Grey Global Group's Grey Direct, New York, as exec VP-executive creative director, succeeding Bob Feinberg, who retired after 12 years at the marketing-services shop.

The move marks Ms. Pavlika's first agency home in 10 years without her name on the door. The 20-year direct-marketing veteran was most recently president and executive creative director at Pavlika Chinnici Direct, a unit of Maxxcom-owned Margeotes/Fertitta & Partners, New York, formed after the September 2000 acquisition of independent shop Chinnici Direct. Before going to Margeotes in March 2000 to lead its five-person direct unit-then called Margeotes/Fertitta & Pavlika-she ran Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe Lintas & Partners' direct division Lowe Fox Pavlika, formed when Lowe purchased independent Fox Pavlika in 1998.

But Ms. Pavlika, who said it's more important to have a good name than a name in the agency moniker, won't miss it. "Being a woman in advertising and being young, it served its purpose to get me where I needed to go," she said.

"I don't think I need it anymore," she added, now that she's arrived at the kind of agency she's wanted to work for-a large, global shop.

"I loved it when I was at Lowe," she said, "and that's what I'm looking forward to at Grey," she said. "I think more now, to compete business-wise, you just need to have the vast resources that Grey seems to have at this time."

Grey Direct, with 43 offices in 33 countries, had $80 million in U.S. revenue in 2000, according to Advertising Age figures. Billings exceeded $1 billion last year, according to Worldwide Chairman-CEO Larry Kimmel.

At Grey she will oversee more than 30 creatives in New York-equal to the entire staff of her previous agency, renamed Chinnici Direct and headed by CEO-Chief Operating Officer Michael Chinnici.

And she hopes to set an agenda with, not for, her staff. "I want them to feel like they're part of the goals and that they're not just foisted on them by me," Ms. Pavlika said. "Direct marketers tend to be very tactical, and we want to put the emphasis on strategy."

Mr. Kimmel believes Ms. Pavlika embodies that kind of strategic thinking, as well as creativity.

"What Holly does is look at marketing programs holistically," he said. "In the selection of our creative director, it was important that we found somebody with a wonderful combination of creativity and responsibility."

Fast Facts

Name: Holly Pavlika

Age: 46

Now: Exec VP-executive creative director at Grey Global Group's Grey Direct, New York

Challenge: To bring clients holistic, strategic marketing solutions, not merely tactical direct marketing.

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