Starcom creates two MD roles

Alastair Bannerman and Steve Parker hired to head Starcom and MediaVest in bid to split agencies.

Starcom MediaVest Group has appointed Alastair Bannerman as the managing director of Starcom and Steve Parker as the managing director of MediaVest, in two newly created roles.

The move is a bid to emphasise the separate identities of the two media agencies, which are both run under the Starcom MediaVest Group umbrella, but have separate planning and buying teams and operate out of different offices. It marks a return to a structure that the group has employed in the past, when it had heads of both agencies. This had since been scrapped in favour of a stronger group management structure.

Parker was previously the managing director of digital for Starcom and before this, he was the UK out-of-home buying director. Bannerman was formerly an operations director at Starcom, having joined the agency last year from ZenithOptimedia in Australia. His appointment marked a return to the agency as he previously worked as an account director on Scottish Courage at MediaVest.

Both will report to Linda Smith, the chief executive of Starcom MediaVest Group.

Stewart Easterbrook remains as the group managing director, Chris Locke will continue in his role as the UK trading director across the group and Pru Parkinson will remain as its strategic planning director.

Smith, who last year restructured the business to place more focus on digital and data, said: "Media Vest and Starcom have always run separately and in order for that focus to be clear, Alastair will be focusing 100 per cent on Starcom and Steve will focus 100 per cent on MediaVest."

She added: "I feel very passionately that the two brands are kept separate in order to manage important things like client conflict, and these appointments ensure that the focus and brand differentials become clearer."

Starcom MediaVest was formed in 2000 from the merger of the media arms of Leo Burnett and D'Arcy.