WPP agency VMLY&R is setting up a new office in Detroit and sibling network GTB, the Ford-focused agency located in nearby Dearborn, will help staff it.
The agency confirms Tim Reisen, who has served as Chief Experience Officer at GTB, has been tapped to run the new VMLY&R office. He will be bringing a bunch of GTBers (the exact number was not disclosed) with him.
Joining Reisen from GTB is Aleks Niestroj, who was a managing partner at GTB and helped Reisen manage experience strategy there.
GTB took a blow last fall when Ford decided to make BBDO its lead creative agency, while giving Wieden + Kennedy a big project to help launch its 2019 model year. But GTB retained a big portion of the auto giant’s account, including media planning and buying, PR, CRM and other elements.
Still, in the wake of the loss of the creative assignment, GTB confirmed it would eliminate nearly 2% of its global staff, mostly in Michigan, which is estimated to be less than 100 staffers.
It looks like the opening of the VMLY&R Detroit office may be saving some GTB jobs, and that’s always a good thing, right?
VMLY&R issued a statement confirming the development:
“Tim Reisen has been hired to lead our new VMLY&R Detroit office. Tim and many members of his team, including Aleks, are a part of VMLY&R now. The movement was planned and coordinated between GTB, VMLY&R and WPP through the partnership we have had working on Ford for over four years.
"The opening of VMLY&R Detroit continues a strong presence in the market and gives us an opportunity to strengthen a regional capability around our consumer-experience practice, while continuing our partnership with GTB. VMLY&R Detroit will provide consumer experience services to many North American clients from this vibrant, growing market.
"This is a continuation of the customer experience and technology initiatives we have worked on with Ford on over the past few years. As our engagements have grown we’ve decided it would be beneficial to serve with teams in our new Detroit office.”