Michael Houston Promoted to Managing Director of Grey New York

Marketer's Leadership Integral to Grey's Record Growth

Sep 12, 2011, 10:26 ET from Grey

NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- James R. Heekin III, Chairman and CEO of Grey Group, today announced the promotion of Michael Houston to Managing Director of Grey New York, a new position.  He will report to Tor Myhren, President and Chief Creative Officer of Grey New York.

"This well-deserved promotion recognizes the key leadership role Michael has played in the record new business growth of Grey," Jim Heekin said.  "His indisputable talent for fostering collaboration across the agency, forging dynamic partnerships with clients and building the Grey brand as a 'Famously Effective' agency will add to our momentum in the years ahead."

"This is a natural evolution as Michael has been such a big factor in our success over the past few years," said Tor Myhren.  "He's a crystal clear, innovative thinker who delivers ideas at the speed of culture.  Michael has incredible instincts when it comes to both people and business, and he's a born leader."

Michael Houston joined Grey New York, the global network's flagship headquarters office, in 2007 as Executive Vice President, Director of Marketing, to spearhead Grey's business development efforts and the marketing of the Grey brand.  He was promoted to Global Chief Marketing Officer of Grey worldwide in 2010 in recognition of Grey's record new business performance.  

Grey's Record Performance  

Over the past two years, Grey New York has won more than 35 new business reviews, $1.2 billion in new business billings, from such blue-chip clients as the NFL, DirecTV, Red Lobster, T.J. Maxx, Bausch & Lomb, Sargento Foods, Mayflower/United Van Lines, Allianz, Diageo's Ketel One, Turner Entertainment Networks, UPMC and Ally Financial.  Grey also won major new assignments from GSK, Boehringer Ingelheim, Procter & Gamble, Eli Lilly, Allergan and Playtex.  

In 2010 and 2011, Grey New York was cited in FAST COMPANY's "World's 50 Most Innovative Companies" issue; ADVERTISING AGE's A-List of the best agencies in the business in 2010 and its transformation was the subject of an ADWEEK cover story, "Red Hot Grey."  

As Managing Director of Grey New York, Houston will continue to oversee new business development, generate new growth opportunities and assist in the management of the 850-person agency.

Michael Houston Career  

Michael Houston is one of the most respected and innovative brand builders in the industry.  Prior to Grey, he contributed to a record-setting new business period in the history of Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners.  Earlier, he served at Young & Rubicam and Landor Associates in New York and San Francisco on the account, new business and corporate communications sides.  He rose to the position of Vice President, North American Business Development, for the advertising agency.  During his tenure, Y&R added more than a billion dollars in new business.

While serving in account management and brand strategy, Houston worked across a variety of industries on a diverse portfolio of brands such as Kraft's Jell-O, United Airlines, Chef Boyardee, Pirelli Tires, Coors, Dreyer's/Edy's Ice Cream and Lexus.  He began his advertising career as Jay Chiat's first intern to work across disciplines at Chiat/Day, New York.

Michael is a graduate of the University of Kansas, where he studied advertising and marketing at the William Allen White School of Journalism.

About Grey

Grey New York is the flagship and largest office of Grey, the advertising network of Grey Group.  Grey Group ranks among the largest global communications companies.  Its parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).  Grey Famously Effective Since 1917 serves a blue-chip client roster of many of the world's best known companies:  Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Diageo, Darden Restaurants, Pfizer, Canon, 3M, Eli Lilly, ETrade, NFL, Boehringer Ingelheim, J.M. Smucker and T.J. Maxx.  FAST COMPANY named Grey to "The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies" list in 2010.  (www.grey.com)

Contact: Owen Dougherty 212-546-2551