Christie lands Partners marketing chief role

Neil Christie, the former chief operating officer at TBWA/London,

is to join Partners BDDH as its marketing director.



The appointment means Partners has finally filled the role left vacant

by the abrupt departure of the new-business and marketing executive,

Donna Nicholson, just under a year ago.



Christie will take on a more strategic role than his predecessor, with a

seat both on the agency's board and its smaller group executive

committee.



"He's a very senior and experienced account man who is very

entrepreneurial," Nigel Long, Partners' chief executive, said. "This is

the first time we've represented marketing and new business at this

level. We've got where we are without ever having a senior figure in

that role. Our new business has been adequate but not outstanding, Neil

knows it is his job to change that."



Christie, who left TBWA in February, recently helped lead Wieden &

Kennedy's successful pitch to wrest the Honda account from CDP and The

Leith. The freelance role had led to speculation that Christie, who ran

the Nissan account during his time at TBWA, would take a permanent post

at W&K handling the Honda business.



However, Christie is said to have been keener to replicate the

new-business-oriented role he performed during his final ten months at

TBWA, after moving from managing director to chief operating officer in

May 2000.



"The market is quite closed at the moment and we need to develop our own

leads and map out a new-business plan for the next five years," Long

said. "We know Neil well and were struck by him. Someone else's loss is

our gain."



Christie, who is travelling, will take up his new post at the end of

June.



Nicholson last month resigned from the now defunct interactive men's

magazine Enter, which she joined from Partners. She is not understood to

have a job to go to.



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