When Stan Fields starts his new job as executive vice president and managing partner at Horizon Media on March 1, a key initiative will be a soup-to-nuts assessment of the agency’s direct-response group, which currently bills an estimated $300 million. It is one of the areas that Fields will oversee.
Fields, a 30-year agency veteran, is joining Horizon, the largest independent media shop, after a nearly two-year stint at Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest, where he was executive vice president and managing director.
In addition to the DR group, Fields will manage a pocketful of the agency’s accounts, including the recently won Siemens Enterprise Communications global assignment. That client spends nearly $100 million annually on ads. In addition, Fields will have responsibility for Quiznos, the fast-food chain, Mutual of Omaha, Publishers Clearinghouse, WhiteWave Foods and others.
He will also oversee Horizon’s relationship with Columbus Media, the international consortium of independent media agencies that Horizon helped to found in 2006. The consortium now places $6.5 billion in ads annually.
According to Fields, the DR assessment is designed to ensure the practice is a “fully competitive market offering.” It’s also an opportunity to identify potential expansion opportunities within its DR practice that could draw new clients and drive organic growth, he said.
As for Columbus, Fields will be taking over responsibilities previously handled by agency CEO Bill Koenigsberg, giving the latter more time to focus on other company matters. Columbus has offices in about 60 markets currently. One of Fields’ tasks will be to identify additional markets and agencies to service them.
Fields spent 20-plus years in the Detroit advertising market, working, for the most part, on General Motors assignments for shops including DMB&B and Leo Burnett. In 2005, having some doubts about the U.S. auto sector, he moved on to a healthcare agency in Columbus, Ohio, for a few years, then to a digital shop in Arizona before arriving at MediaVest in 2010. It was there that he met Koenigsberg, ironically, through a client contact at Capital One, which had just moved its media assignment from MediaVest to Horizon.
Over the ensuing months, Koenigsberg and Fields kept up a dialogue. “One thing led to another, and here I am,” said Fields.