Alison Burns to Start Consultancy; Anne Bologna Named as Successor

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Alison Burns, president of Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide, New York, is stepping down to start a consultancy, the agency said today.

Succeeding her as president is Anne Bologna, Fallon's Minneapolis-based director of planning. She will move to New York and take over the office Feb 1.

Fulfilling potential
"We have some great things in the

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works, and 2003 will be the year [Fallon] New York fulfills its potential," said David Lubars, Fallon North America president-executive creative director. "Anne having a planning background should say something about our strategic focus. I am grateful for Alison's leadership and for her being honest that she's not ready to do this next run."

"I see my job as to make this office as successful as it can possibly be. It's really that simple," said Ms. Bologna, who already led a new-business team meeting this morning. "A big focus of mine will be figuring out how to create as much momentum as possible. The Fallon brand still seems pretty strong so there's no reason this office can't grow a lot."

Ms. Burns, 39, who had been New York president since 1998, led the agency's recovery following the Sept. 11 attacks (Fallon's office were two blocks away from ground zero). As a result of the terror attacks and dot-com implosion, the office has roughly one third of the billings it had in 2000. Since then, the agency has rebuilt its creative department and management team, and the shop added new accounts including Timberland, L'Oreal, and radio duties from PepsiCo's SoBe beverage. Ms. Burns has contemplated the move for at least one month, said an agency executive.

Before joining Fallon, she was co-founder, president and CEO of KTNY, New York, a unit of U.K.-based executive search firm Kendall Tarrant. She earlier was vice president of marketing for PepsiCo in charge of its international Pizza Hut and domestic fountain beverage units. Ms. Burns began her career in 1984 at Boase Massimi Pollitt, London. Four years later she joined Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London, as an account director. In 1992, she joined WPP Group's Young and Rubicam, London, as head of account management.

Citibank account
Ms. Bologna, 46, has been with Fallon since 1994 and director of planning since 1999, and has been leading the Citibank account. The agency will name a Minneapolis-based group account director once Citibank is informed; Ms. Bologna will remain active on the business, Mr. Lubars said. Ms. Bologna is also co-chairman of the Account Planning Group, a trade organization. Prior to joining Fallon, Ms. Bologna spent a decade in account management at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell-Mithun, Minneapolis.

Until the agency names a planning director, the department will now report to Fallon, Minneapolis, President Rob White, a former planner, and will be led by four group planning directors. Mr. Lubars said the post will likely be filled by an internal candidate.

More changes planned
Mr. Lubars said the agency has more changes in the works, with growth driving its priorities. "The vision for the next five years is fairly laid out," he said. "We'll use new tools and ways to reach consumers who have become unreachable."

Among the gaps he said he wants to fill is "getting better at retail."

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