NEW YORK: Ketchum has named Pernod Ricard vet Jeffrey Moran as MD of its North American CPG practice.
Pernod Ricard has been a client of Ketchum’s for nearly 20 years. Moran, who worked closely with Ketchum in his most recent role as Pernod Ricard USA’s VP of PR and marketing services, will not be directly responsible for the Pernod account in his new role. He will, however, act as a senior counselor on the work.
Moran is based in New York and joined Ketchum on September 16. He reports to Jamey Peters, Ketchum partner and MD of retail, who said the firm has not yet determined how many direct reports Moran will have.
The Omnicom agency has not had a formal head of CPG since it underwent a reorganization last year. After the reorg, Hilary McKean, now partner and regional president in Atlanta according to LinkedIn, served as interim lead until April 2019. At that point, Peters took over that role, also on an interim basis.
"We were taking a thoughtful approach during the search process, trying to find the right candidate to complement the strong group of talent we have in this sector," Peters said. "We were talking to a variety of candidates and then specifically to [Moran], before the summer."
Moran said that after 14 and a half years at Pernod, he was looking for a very specific sort of change.
"While I love what Pernod Ricard offered as a company from its brand to its culture, there was a moment when I realized I wanted to exercise a different part of my brain, the creativity piece about what is happening in the consumer vertical today," Moran said.
Pernod’s CMO and Moran’s former boss Jonas Tahlin told PRWeek in an emailed statement that the company is "extremely appreciative of [Moran’s] past contributions. He has truly enabled our progress to the next-generation organization we have today and we wish him well in his next endeavor."
Tahlin added that Pernod is not replacing his position "to enable growth opportunities amongst the team."
Prior to Pernod, Moran directed PR at Mars Snackfood. He has also worked at Porter Novelli, M Booth and FleishmanHillard.
Moran told PRWeek he has tried to keep one foot in the agency world. He noted that he made sure his in-house teams were fashioned around a client-service model.
"It helped me continue to think about my business in a very consultancy way and it also helped my staff," he said. "Sometimes, in the corporate world, people get a little staid in their careers. It’s often the case that you’re in it for the long haul. Pernod had that and I loved it, but I wanted to shake it up a little."
Ketchum won big at this year’s PRWeek U.S. Awards, capturing six separate PRWeek Award category wins including Agency of the Past 20 Years. The agency also won a Cannes Lion trophy for its work on the Keeping Fortnite Fresh campaign for Wendy’s, a Silver PR credit for that same campaign, and a Bronze for the Wendy’s #NationalRoastDay promotion.
In April, Ketchum’s conflict shop Interfuse Communications won the consolidated work of Xfinity, Comcast’s residential products and services brand.
But also this year, Ketchum experienced several senior departures. Marcus Peterzell, former EVP of entertainment at Ketchum Sports & Entertainment, left to open his own firm.
In addition, Ruder Finn hired Ketchum SVP and director of purpose Monica Marshall to lead its global purpose practice. And the MD of Ketchum’s North America health practice Tom Jones moved to Finn Partners as head of its health and wellness group.
Ketchum is part of the Omnicom Public Relations Group along with FleishmanHillard, Porter Novelli, and Marina Maher Communications. In Q2, OPRG firms reported a revenue drop of 0.3% to $342.6 million. According to the PRWeek Agency Business Report 2019, revenue at Ketchum dropped 1% in 2018 to $512 million.