Wunderman names Kessel chief at RTC

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WPP-owned Wunderman has named direct marketing veteran Barry Kessel CEO of RTC Relationship Marketing (RTCRM), its Washington, DC, unit.

Kessel, who was previously senior strategist at RTCRM, replaces former CEO Becky Chidester, who left in November 2005 to become COO of Wunderman's New York office.

As RTCRM CEO, Kessel will report directly to Wunderman CEO Daniel Morel.

“Although we are a Wunderman agency, we fly a different flag,” Kessel told MM&M, “and I think we have a different value proposition. So, while we share intellectual property, approaches and practices, we are a different culture.”

Kessel added, “RTCRM is very strong right now. We have been experiencing remarkable growth lately including new business and organic growth from current clients.”

As a result, plans to expand the agency's geographic footprint are in the works. “We have our headquarters in Washington, DC, and an office in New York and we are looking at expansion into Chicago where we have a key client, and there's also some West Coast potential,” he said.
RTCRM's health care roster includes Abbott Laboratories, Sanofi-Aventis, Berlex, GlaxoSmithKline and AARP Services.

Kessel joined Wunderman in 2001 as EVP, global account director on the IBM business and became chief development officer in 2004. He also served as president and managing director of Wunderman New York. Prior to Wunderman, he was with Brann Worldwide and Young & Rubicam, where he was president, chief creative officer of Chapman Direct Advertising and general manager of Stone & Adler in Toronto.

Additionally, 16-year RTCRM executive Jeffrey Ross has been named RTCRM president.
Ross joined RTCRM in 1990. Most recently, he served as executive vice president at the agency.

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