Ruder Finn’s consumer, consumer health, and some B2B clients will fall under the new practice.
Mary Trudel, who heads the New York consumer division at the agency, will report to Seltzer as senior marketing strategist.
Seltzer quit Ogilvy just over one year ago (PRWeek, 16 August 2002), having run its international network for five years, and has spent the past 12 months doing ad hoc consultancy work.
‘I want to get back to being close to clients,’ said Seltzer. ‘Ruder Finn has always had senior people deeply involved in client business, and that, to me, is more appealing than being an administrator.’
Seltzer, whose remit will see him represent the agency across North and South America, reports to co-CEO Kathy Bloomgarden and Americas president Richard Funess.
When Seltzer left Ogilvy he was replaced by agency veteran Marcia Silverman, who was promoted from her role as president of the Americas.
Prior to heading Ogilvy, Seltzer ran Porter Novelli’s New York office as executive vice-president. During his spell with Porter Novelli he founded that agency’s healthcare practice.
Funess said Seltzer would provide the agency with ‘more of the “special sauce” the agency has been seeking over the past year’.
Among the consumer clients handled by Ruder Finn in the US is clothing brand The North Face.
Ruder Finn scooped the brand and corporate communications agency-of-record account in March, with the agency’s New York and San Francisco offices each handling aspects of the work under an account team headed by Trudel.