Ann Hayden Rejoins Former Network in Newly Created Role

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- A highly regarded creative director is leaving one agency reeling from lost or shrinking accounts, WPP Group's Y&R, New York, for an agency in the midst of a morale problem, the New York office of Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide.
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Ann Hayden is leaving Y&R, where she was executive creative director, to rejoin her former agency. Ms. Hayden, 51, rose from junior copywriter to CEO of Saatchi's Rochester, N.Y., office, and at Saatchi, New York, she will be worldwide creative director on the General Mills account, a newly created role, according to an agency spokeswoman.

An 'exciting' time
"It's an exciting time to be joining the agency," said Ms. Hayden, who leaves Y&R at the end of the month. "I've always been interested in General Mills, and certainly from my time in Rochester, I know a lot of the people at Saatchi."

General Mills is one of Saatchi New York's top three accounts, but it has been the focus of intense scrutiny following the abrupt February departure of 17 members of a 100-person team that worked on the account.

The office's leadership team -- CEO Mary Baglivo and Chief Creative Officer Tony Granger, who joined the office in September -- have been quickly trying to rebuild the account team, promoting seven longtime account?side employees and hiring Joe Belmonte as executive vice president and account director. The also hired Pete Johnson as the account's senior vice president and creative director.

Ms. Hayden will report to Mr. Granger.

Worked on top accounts
Ms. Hayden joined Y&R in May 2000 and worked on the Dannon, AT&T, Computer Associates, MetLife and Cadbury Schweppes accounts. Once the largest entity within Y&R's North American network, the agency's New York office has shrunk in the past year as clients, including Computer Associates and Burger King, departed, while others, like Cadbury Schweppes and AT&T either shifted their accounts to other Y&R offices or cut consumer advertising spending.

Ad spending on the agency's newly won accounts, such as Toys R Us and Weight Watchers International, is less than that on those accounts lost.

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