Sandy Thompson joins Young & Rubicam as Global Planning Director

18 October, 2010

NEW YORK — Hamish McLennan, Global CEO of WPP’s Young & Rubicam (, announced today that Sandy Thompson joins the agency as Global Planning Director. Thompson takes over responsibilities of Global Chief Insights Officer John Gerzema, who has been appointed President of BrandAsset Consulting, Y&R’s global brand strategy firm. The changes are effective immediately.

Respected strategist
Thompson is regarded as one of the industry’s most innovative and productive strategists. During her 15-year tenure at Saatchi & Saatchi, she played a key role in strengthening Asian and North American regions to transform Saatchi into one of the world’s most successful networks in recent years, both in terms of creative strength and in new business.

A Canadian, Thompson started at Saatchi in Toronto as VP Planning Director Canada, and then moved to Asia to tackle the role of Regional Planning Director, responsible for 15 offices in 11 countries. Her responsibilities broadened to include leading planning for New York and Canada, and in 2007, she was named Global Planning Director, based in New York. Sandy has helped create award-winning ideas and successful results for brands including JCPenney, Ameriprise, Toyota, Visa and Guinness.

“We are delighted to have Sandy join our stellar team,” said Tony Granger, Global Chief Creative Officer at Young & Rubicam. “She is laser-focused on finding insights that help clients connect with people in a really meaningful way, and creatives love her because she doesn't complicate things. She's a fantastic asset for us and our clients.”

A globe trotter, Thompson has spent time immersing herself in different cultures—having lived with families in China, traveled by train with the youth of Russia, gone under the veil in Saudi Arabia, connected with seniors in America, talked marriage and divorce in India, washed hair in Japan and renovated homes in Canada.

“I’m thrilled to join Young & Rubicam to reunite with Tony and to work with Hamish,” said Thompson. “As a planner and strategist, I’m a firm believer that it’s not just about asking questions in a controlled way, hoping to find an angle that connects with a target audience. To build our client's brands we need to spend time in the real world with real people. Only then can we find a connection that allows our client's customers the opportunity to experience the totality of the brand. I look forward to connecting Y&R’s clients with real people in the real world and delivering strong results.”

Gerzema takes on new BAV role
Gerzema, who has led Young & Rubicam’s Insights practice since 2004, moves to BrandAsset Consulting (BAC), Y&R’s consultancy created to help clients assess and drive strategic direction and intangible value of brands. As President of BAC, he will continue to support the agency with BrandAsset® Valuator (BAV) insights and thought leadership.

Kristen Bryan
DiGennaro Communications  
+1 212.966.9525

About Young & Rubicam
Young & Rubicam is one of the world’s leading marketing communications companies. Founded in 1923, Young & Rubicam was the first agency to be founded by a creative, Raymond Rubicam. Today, run by Global CEO Hamish McLennan and Global CCO Tony Granger, the agency’s work spans the communications spectrum, including digital, viral, social and experiential marketing, to build brands that are irresistible to consumers.

Young & Rubicam has 186 offices in 90 countries around the world. Its clients are some of the world’s most prestigious global corporations, including Accenture, Bacardi, Campbell’s Soup Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Land Rover, LG, Xerox and Virgin Atlantic, to name a few. For more information, visit

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