Digitas has hired agency veteran Donna Biernadski to run Team Sprint, the recently formed Publicis Groupe unit that will oversee the $1 billion Sprint creative and media account. She will report to Digitas Chicago Managing Director Doug Ryan. Her new title is senior vice president of marketing at the agency.
Most recently, Biernadski was vice president of The Morton Arboretum, located in the Chicago area. Prior to that, she was senior vice president, chief of integration at WPP’s Wunderman. Earlier, she held account director posts at Havas’ Euro RSCG, Omnicom Group’s Rapp Collins Worldwide and DDB.
Publicis Groupe was awarded the Sprint assignment without a formal review in early December.
At the time, Sprint confirmed naming Publicis Groupe, “led by Digitas” as its new “primary agency” to manage brand strategy, advertising, digital, offline media, digital buying and analytics.
The arrangement is somewhat unusual. Digitas will serve as lead agency, an assignment normally held by a creative agency for a full-service account. Leo Burnett, Publicis Groupe’s Chicago-based ad shop will serve as Sprint’s new creative agency, replacing Omnicom’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners.
Another quirky detail in the new arrangement is that media incumbent Mindshare says it remains the media agency of record for Sprint -- an assertion neither confirmed nor denied by both the client and Digitas reps.
The WPP shop has been the incumbent for online and offline media duties. Online chores are shifting to Digitas.
Commenting on Biernadski’s hire, Digitas President Tony Weisman stated it demonstrated "the agency continuing to build its core foundation for Team Sprint" as well as its commitment "to bring big, bold, memorable ideas to life across all media channels” for the client.