Euro RSCG NY hires Witherspoon to boost Volvo digital work

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Allyson Witherspoon
Allyson Witherspoon

Euro RSCG New York has hired Allyson Witherspoon as global digital brand director, agency CEO Jeff Brooks said July 12.

Witherspoon is handling digital work for Volvo to help the automaker “capture more share of the premium segment,” said Brooks, to whom Witherspoon will report directly. She will oversee a team of approximately 20 employees.

She replaced Maryann Pulvirenti, who left her position as the agency's client services director in April. Brooks said the global digital brand director role is “an upgrade” from the client services director position.

“What we've done is upgrade the position to reflect the global nature of Volvo's digital needs, and we've expanded the remit of the job so it isn't just servicing the Volvo brand but adding digital thought leadership for the agency,” said Brooks.

Witherspoon joined Euro from Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners, where she served as group account director for the BMW North America account for four years. She resigned July 5, the same day she began working at Euro RSCG.

Prior to KBSP, Witherspoon led the Mercedes-Benz USA account at Merkley & Partners. She also previously served as assistant VP of marketing consultancy The National System.

Euro RSCG New York has been Volvo's digital AOR since 1996, said Brooks, who added that he has managed the account for the past five years and will continue to do so. Witherspoon will assist him in creating digital global brand campaigns, regional campaigns and one-off efforts for the brand, he said.

Euro RSCG New York creates and facilitates Volvo's online ads, Web development, social media, email, branded promotions and online events. The automaker will launch a “global online event in November," said Brooks. It will also create a global promotion for Breaking Dawn, the fourth film in the Twilight series, he said.

Doug Speck, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, said in January that the company would boost advertising spending this year and that it had planned to spend as much money in the first quarter alone as it spent in 2010.

Witherspoon said she has already held meetings with Volvo and “gone through” her vision for their work.

“Volvo has a rich history of innovation in the digital space,” she said, adding that she has also “reached out to all the [agency's major] clients.”

Brooks worked with a recruiter to fill the position, and the search took about three months including meetings with “12 to 15” candidates, said Brooks. He would not reveal the name of the recruiter.

Euro RSCG reassigned former New York office co-CEO Pete Zillig to a position in Europe in May. The agency also eliminated less than 5% of its staff as part of the restructuring.

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