John Birnsteel Hired as COO
January 24, 2013
Doe-Anderson, the independent agency that creates cult-like followings for brands like Triumph Motorcycles and Maker’s Mark Bourbon, has lured Louisville native John Birnsteel back from the United Kingdom to serve as its Chief Operating Officer.
Birnsteel actually began his career at Doe-Anderson in 1993 and left in 1997 to obtain his MBA from the University of Cambridge in the UK. He then worked in London through 2012, working for some of the largest agency networks in the world, including WPP and Interpublic Group.
“We are anxious to put John back to work at Doe,” said Todd Spencer, CEO and President of Doe-Anderson. “He has extensive agency experience, and he will play a major role in strengthening client relationships, as well as looking at our internal operations.”
Birnsteel most recently worked as the head of strategy for FutureBrand London, where he was the lead strategist for FutureBrand’s major corporate client, Zurich Insurance Group. Notably, FutureBrand London was named Branding Agency of the Year in 2012 by UK’s leading industry publication Marketing Magazine.
Birnsteel assisted FutureBrand’s business development team in winning major pieces of new business, and he helped rebuild their strategy practice. Birnsteel will use those skills extensively as he directs Doe-Anderson’s account services department and provides strategic planning leadership for the agency’s expanding client roster.
David Vawter, the agency’s Chief Creative Officer, was also persuaded (in 2010) to return to Doe-Anderson after several years away from Louisville. Vawter worked for powerhouse advertising agencies like Doner, Campbell-Ewald, FCB Worldwide and McCann-Erickson before rejoining Doe-Anderson.
“We have a history of re-hiring folks who leave the agency and want to come back. Often they leave the state and then realize that Louisville is a place that offers both livability and opportunity. Plus, Doe-Anderson has a client roster that includes a balanced mix of national, regional and local brands,” Spencer continued.
Doe-Anderson recently announced new business wins from Jim Beam Bourbon, BDI, Bluegrass Cellular and Pinnacle Entertainment (among others). The agency increased profits in 2012 by 30%, compared with 2011 numbers. Staffing has increased at a similar pace of 31%.
“We are at a pivotal point in the history of the agency,” said Spencer. “We are putting all the right people in place so we can create enthusiastic fans for brands of all shapes and sizes. But what we are really good at is creating fervent followings for lesser-known brands, and then we help bring them into the forefront of their categories. We’ve been doing it for almost a hundred years, and we plan to keep doing it for a hundred more.”